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Hill & Son Organ 1866


During the latter part of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, Australia was to see the importation of some 40 organs built by the organ building firm of Hill and Son. Of these organs, 19 were to come to New South Wales including their magnum opus built for the Sydney Town Hall.

The first organ to be built for Australia by Hill and Son was for St. Andrew's Anglican Cathedral, Sydney. Built in 1866 (job number 1182) with 37 stops and three manuals and pedals, it was then the biggest organ in the State. Sir Edmund Blacket, the Cathedral's architect, drew a design for the organ's case (see below) upon which Hill and Son based the organ's final appearance. The case extended up only to the impost; above this was an 8' front of display pipes arranged 5-25-5 with another 13 pipes of 16' arranged behind. These latter pipes were removed in 1952 to St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Bendigo. All these pipes were stencilled and topped with coronets. The posts and rails which held the front pipes were made of wrought iron.

Dr E.G.Monk, the organist of York Minster, acted as consultant for the organ which was considered to be very advanced for its time, both in compass and tonal structure.

The specification was as follows:





Copy of original line drawing of the organ façade by the architect Sir Edmund Blacket
(found in the Mitchell Library, Sydney)



Line drawing of the Hill & Son organ on the cathedral floor
before being raised into the south transept gallery

Published in The Illustrated Sydney News of 11 July 1868.