The organ

Norwich Cathedral houses one of the largest pipe organs in the country.

Work has now begun on an ambitious 15-month project to rebuild the historic organ. You can read more about the project here.

The first known references to an organ at Norwich Cathedral date from the 14th century, since when numerous famed organ builders (such as Dallam, Renatus Harris, Byfield and Bishop) have been associated with instruments built here.

In 1899 a new five manual organ was built by Norman and Beard, before being badly damaged by fire during a dramatic evensong on 9 April 1938.

Features of the current organ include;
  • 105 speaking stops
  • 4 manuals, dating from the Hill, Norman and Beard rebuild of 1940-1942
  • fine casework, erected in 1950 and designed by Stephen Dykes Bower
  • pipes measuring 32 feet at their longest and less than an inch at their smallest
  • a solo tuba on 18 inches of wind pressure
  • 256 channels of memory
  • a stepper sequencer to help visiting organists manage the stops

One particularly notable feature, added in 1969, is the Cymbelstern. This is a set of 6 bells with a rotating star located high up on the east organ case, which is unusual in an English organ and adds visual interest to the music when it is in use.

Organ Recitals

We usually stage free organ recitals throughout the year and everyone is invited to come and enjoy the organ’s glorious sound and watch the performers as they play. The programme of recitals is currently paused while the organ is being rebuilt, but we look forward to the recitals returning later in 2023.