Leiden Cathedral, Holland.

Click image for close up

Some details

Henry Willis & Sons is proud to announce having been chosen as the builder for the new organ project at Leiden Cathedral in Holland (Hooglandse Kerk). The Cathedral is already home to an exceptional Van Hagerbeer organ, however the Cathedral also wanted a large English Romantic organ to accompany the Cathedral Choir and to contribute to the promotion of Leiden as the "City of organs".

In 1991 St. Mark's Church, Claughton, Birkenhead closed and the 1892 Father Willis organ was transferred to Holland as a house organ. This organ is now destined to be the basis of the new organ for Leiden Cathedral. This instrument is a fine example from the period during which Father Willis brought back much of the timbre of his earlier organs, which had been suppressed through the 1880s due to the fashions of the day. The reeds in particular are, tonally, extremely well-developed and exhibit the 'clang' for which this comany's reeds became well known.

St. Mark's Church

The Father Willis
in its original home

The Father Willis organ is to be restored retaining all of the original pipework, soundboards and actions (Great & Swell actions being 'Willis Lever'). It is planned to add six registers to this instrument along standard Willis lines of the day. The original files detailing the history of this organ shew that the specification was somewhat restricted in 1892 by financial constraints at the time which explains the absence of a Voix Céleste and the prepared for Pedal Ophicleide.

Once restored, the Father Willis will occupy a position on the North side of the Cathedral Nave. In due course three new divisions are envisaged: Choir/Positive; Solo and Pedal Organs. A new Four Manual Console will be constructed to play the new divisions and the Father Willis together. The Father Willis actions will be made playable electrically from the new console as well as being playable independently from their original console.

Click Here to show or hide photographs of the work in our factory

Proposed Specification for the Father Willis organ

Click Here to show or hide proposed specifcation of the Father Willis organ

The 1892 Father Willis Organ during its incarnation as a House Organ

Proposed Specification for the envisaged (enlarged) Organs

Click here to show or hide proposed specifcation of the envisaged (enlarged) organ

Back to the Projects

audio file