Organs of York

Introduction

The city of York has had a rich history of organ-building and organ-playing. At its height in the nineteenth century, the city contained over one hundred pipe organs within its historic city walls alone!

Despite the ravages of time, the city can still boast seventeen pipe organs within its historic city walls and thirty-nine instruments outside the walls. Since 1996, the City of York Council has been a unitary authority and it now comprises twenty-one electoral wards. The boundaries of these twenty-one electoral wards constitute the legal boundary of the city of York.  In total, therefore, there are fifty-six pipe organs within the current legal boundaries of York.

The following list of pipe organs has been compiled using these electoral ward boundaries. However, the city centre of York has been traditionally defined by its perimeter walls. Therefore, the following list has been divided into two categories: 1) any buildings containing pipe organs that lie within the historic city walls (or physically built into the ruined abbey walls e.g. St Olave’s Church) and 2) any buildings that lie outside the city walls. This is an important distinction for historical comparison.

Only the pipe organs that are contained within ‘public’ buildings have been included. Any pipe organs that are contained within private residences have been excluded. The façade of the organ in the Baptist Church, Priory Street has not been included, because the rest of this instrument has been destroyed. The barrel organs in the Castle Museum have also been excluded. However, the instruments in the Rock Church, Duncombe Place Masonic Hall and St Michael-le-Belfrey Church have been included. These instruments are not currently playable, however all of their pipework is still in situ. Finally, the organ in St Denys’ Church is in a poor condition, but it has been included as it is currently viewed as being ‘playable’.

Within City Walls

Micklegate Ward Historic City Centre All Saints’ Church, North Street
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre All Saints’ Church, Pavement
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate
Micklegate Ward Historic City Centre Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre Masonic Hall, Duncombe Place
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre Masonic Hall, St Saviourgate
Micklegate Ward Historic City Centre St Columba’s URC Church, Priory Street
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Denys’ Church, Walmgate
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St George’s RC Church, George Street
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Helen’s Church, Stonegate
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Martin-le-Grand Church, Coney Street
Micklegate Ward Historic City Centre St Mary’s Church, Bishophill Junior
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Michael-le-Belfrey Church, Low Petergate
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Olave’s Church, Marygate
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre St Wilfrid’s RC Church, Duncombe Place
Micklegate Ward Historic City Centre The Rock Church
Guildhall Ward Historic City Centre York Minster

Outside City Walls

Acomb Ward Acomb Lidgett Grove Methodist Church
Acomb Ward Acomb Front Street Methodist Church
BIOS Historic Organ Certificate (Certificate of Recognition)
Acomb Ward Acomb St Aidan’s Church, Ridgeway
Bishopthorpe Ward Acaster Malbis Holy Trinity Church
Bishopthorpe Ward Bishopthorpe Bishopthorpe Palace Chapel
Bishopthorpe Ward Bishopthorpe St Andrew’s Church
Clifton Ward Clifton St Luke’s Church, Burton Stone Lane
Clifton Ward Clifton St Peter’s School Chapel
Copmanthorpe Ward Copmanthorpe St Giles’ Church
Dringhouses and Woodthorpe Ward Dringhouses St Edward-the-Confessor Church
Fulford and Heslington Ward Fulford St Oswald’s Church
Guildhall Ward Guildhall St Thomas’ Church, Lowther Street
Guildhall Ward Guildhall Trinity Methodist Church, Monkgate
Guildhall Ward Guildhall York St John University
Haxby and Wigginton Ward Haxby St Mary’s Church
Haxby and Wigginton Ward Wigginton St Nicholas’ Church
Heworth Ward Heworth Holy Trinity Church
Holgate Ward Holgate St Barnabas’ Church, Jubilee Terrace
Holgate Ward Holgate St Paul’s Church, Holgate
Hull Road Ward Heslington The University of York
Hull Road Ward Heslington St Paul’s Church
Huntington and New Earswick Ward Huntington All Saints’ Church
Huntington and New Earswick Ward Huntington St Andrew’s Church
Micklegate Ward Micklegate Millthorpe School
Micklegate Ward Micklegate Southlands Methodist Church
Micklegate Ward Micklegate St Chad’s Church, Campleshon Road
Micklegate Ward Micklegate St Clement’s Church, Scarcroft Road
Micklegate Ward Micklegate St Mary’s Convent, Blossom Street
Osbaldwick and Derwent Ward Dunnington St Nicholas’ Church
Osbaldwick and Derwent Ward Holtby Holy Trinity Church
Rural West York Ward Hessay St John-the-Baptist Church
Rural West York Ward Rufforth All Saints’ Church
Rural West York Ward Skelton St Giles’ Church
Strensall Ward Stockton-on-the-Forest Holy Trinity Church
Strensall Ward Strensall St Mary’s Church
Strensall Ward Strensall St Wilfrid’s Garrison Church
Wheldrake Ward Elvington Holy Trinity Church
Wheldrake Ward Naburn St Matthew’s Church
Wheldrake Ward Wheldrake St Helen’s Church