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The once-a-century refurbishment

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York Minster’s Grand Organ is currently undergoing a major, £2m refurbishment, the first on this scale since 1903.

The instrument, which dates back to the early 1830s, is being removed – including nearly all of its 5,403 pipes – and will be taken to Durham for repair and refurbishment by organ specialists Harrison and Harrison.

The organ plays a key part in the cathedral’s services, providing the heartbeat at the centre of daily worship within the church, and this once-in-a-century refurbishment will ensure it continues to allow world-class music to be performed at the cathedral for the next 100 years.

The plans also include creating a new music library underneath the organ, inside the screen which separates the Quire from the Nave, subject to the relevant permissions being obtained.

The project will take almost two years to complete, with the restored instrument due to be ready for use in late summer 2020.

York Minster relies on your generous support to help fund our conservation and restoration work. If you’d like to help, you can donate online, or see our Get Involved section for other ways you can support our work. 

Follow the project using #ORGAN100 on social media.

Current work

Pulling out all the stops

During October 2018, a team of eight people from organ specialists Harrison and Harrison will dismantle the instrument – including nearly all of its 5,403 pipes – and take it to their workshop in Durham for cleaning and repair works to be carried out. The pipes range in length from the size of a pencil to 10m long and the instrument overall is one of the largest in the country, weighing approximately 20,000kg.

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