RISEN FROM ROMAN REMAINS
Organ pipe casings by "Mousie Thompson
As we move from the side chapel towards the chancel steps, we cross in front of a set of ORGAN PIPES in one of two magnificent oak casings, carved by Robert Thompson of Kilburn, whose "logo" is a mouse, which is carved into every piece of his hand-made furniture. Each of the two casings has a "baby mouse in nest" carved into the oak.... can you find them? They complete our MOUSE FAMILY!
Thompson claimed to be "as poor as a church mouse" when he first began his business and decided to make the mouse his hallmark. ( Kilburn nestles under the White Horse cut into the Hambleton Hills close by Sutton Bank near Thirsk. Thompson's workshop and showroom are worth a visit....why not take a picnic some fine sunny day and enjoy the charming village and distant views from the White Horse, from where you can look across the Vale of York towards Ilkley Moor?). Organ 1882 (refurbished 1953) The original ORGAN was built in 1830, but the present three manual instrument was installed in 1882 (being substantially enlarged and modernised in 1953). The tallest pipes are 16 feet high whilst the smallest measure only 2 inches! There are over 3000 pipes in total, mostly hidden behind the oak casings! The blower, providing the wind to the pipes, is underground in a pit under the vestry floor whilst the organ console is situated in the south aisle, linked to the rest of the instrument by underground electric cables
Text below by John Le Patourel (1981) from his Guide to the Church
There is no record of any organ in the church before 1830. In that year an organ was built by a local craftsman, Benjamin Whitley. This was replaced in 1862 by another by Grindley or Sheffield. Details of both organs are lacking. In 1882 a fine 3-manual instrument was built by the famous T. C. Lewis of Brixton. This served the church almost unaltered until after the Second World War. A long projected major re-construction was then brought to finality in 1953 when the Lewis instrument was rebuilt, enlarged, and modernised at a cost of £8,000. All the Lewis pipework was retained and the organ has 53 speaking stops giving it almost cathedral resources. The work was carried out by the John Compton Organ Co. Ltd., London. The very beautiful English Oak cases were designed by the late J. Stuart Syme of York and executed by Robert Thompson of Kilburn. The instrument has attracted considerable attention from organ lovers and players both in this country and America. It is unusual to find so comprehensive an instrument outside a cathedral or city parish church.