Norwich Cathedral boasts one of the largest pipe organs in the country.
The first known references to an organ in the Cathedral date from the 14th century. Since that time numerous famous organ builders - 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 and this instrument was badly damaged by fire during a dramatic evensong on 9 April 1938.
The present organ is one of the four largest cathedral organs in the country, having 105 speaking stops. It has 4 manuals and dates from the Hill, Norman & Beard rebuild of 1940-1942; the fine casework, erected in 1950, was designed by Stephen Dykes Bower. The longest pipes measure 32 feet and the smallest have a speaking length of less than an inch. The Solo Tuba which speaks magnificently into the Nave is on 18 inches of wind pressure and the organ is now equipped with 256 channels of memory and a stepper sequencer to help visiting organists manage the stops.
One particularly unusual feature added in 1969 is the Cymbelstern - a set of 6 bells with a rotating star high up on the east organ case - this is unusual in an English organ and adds visual interest to the music when it is in use.
There is a regular programme of organ recitals throughout the year. Admission is always free and the performer is shown on a large screen in the nave.
To find out more
Further information is to be found in "The Organs in Norwich Cathedral" by Simon Burrell and Mark Nicholas (£2.00), available from the Cathedral Gift Shop at the back of the Nave and online. Recordings of the organ are also on sale at the Cathedral Gift Shop or online.