Pipe Organs

Rugby School boasts four fine pipe organs.

Designed by Kenneth Jones & Associates of Bray, the Chapel organ has four manuals with 55 speaking stops, and a total of 3,721 pipes. Whereas the previous organ was enclosed in the organ chamber to the north of the chancel, Kenneth Jones’s design allows the majority of the pipework to be in the main case in front of the chamber, which enables the organ to speak directly into the chapel.

The case stands some 33 ft high, and is made of oak. The façade pipes are gilded with various designs to match the ornate Butterfield architecture. The opening recital was given by Nicholas Kynaston on 24, 2001.

For further information about the Chapel organ, click here

A two-manual organ by Harrison & Harrison, donated by the Gair family, was built in 1923. The instrument comprises six stops and underwent restoration work in 2012.

For further information about the Memorial Chapel organ, click here

The organ was built in 1890 at a cost of £1000, by Bryceson Bros of London (18 years after they had built an even more adventurous instrument for the Chapel). It was originally erected in New Big School, now the School’s Macready Theatre, against the western wall, where it was used for concerts and recitals for nearly 20 years. In 1909 the organ was moved en masse by Norman and Beard to the newly completed Temple Speech Room. In 1912 a new oak case was added, designed by Sir Thomas Jackson and donated by the Gair family.

The organ, fully restored following fire damage in 2000, is almost certainly the largest extant Bryceson organ in the world and as such is historically very important. Tonally it is typical of the late Victorian period of organ-building. The most remarkable fact about the organ is the survival of not only the original pipes without alteration but also the complete survival of the original barker lever mechanism and console.

For further information about the Temple Speech Room organ, click here

A two-manual organ with five stops and mechanical action, built by Škrabl of Slovenia in 2007 is available for pupils to practise on.