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Rare Tudor organ on show at Romsey Abbey


The Abbey would have had an instrument similar to it more than 500 years ago. Now a replica St Teilo Tudor Organ has been set up in Romsey Abbey as part of a mission to allow more people to hear what it would have sounded like.The instrument, created in 2010 by organ builders Martin Goetze and Dominic Gwynn of Worksop, is one of a just a handful existing today. Originally used in the 16th century, all of the organs were destroyed during Henry VIII’s breaking away of the Church of England from the authority of the Pope – known as the English Reformation.

But using sketches and references several Tudor organs have been recreated. Director of music at Romsey Abbey, George Richford, said a similar organ would have been housed in the Abbey during the Tudor period. He said that the opportunity to have one now, if only temporarily, was one he could not pass up. “I brought it in because it gives people who are interested in the special organ a chance to view it, especially as they might never get the chance again,” he added “It is one of three replicas of this type in the country so we are very lucky to have it. “The thing about organs is that people see them as part of the furniture, but this one is so special that people have been travelling from miles away specially to come and see it.” Mr Richford added that students from Yale University in the United States have visited Romsey to conduct a special 16th century church service with the organ.

The organ, which is made of wood and metal and contains nothing electronic, is currently being used by the Abbey’s boy choristers as part of a project into music from that time period. But it is also being used during several services at the Abbey, and will also feature during the upcoming Romsey Festival. The festival, which takes place from July 1 for two weeks, will feature a number of lunchtime recitals at the Abbey. One of these will be given by Edward Tambling, former Westminster Abbey composer and a specialist in Tudor organs.

For more information on events at the Festival, visit: http://www.romseyfesitval.org The organ is to be returned to its owner in August.

Source: Romsey Advertiser