The organ – a key part of musical life at the Cathedral – is one of the biggest of its kind in the country and this huge project is the instrument’s first complete overhaul since it was rebuilt in 1942, following a fire which partially destroyed the instrument in April 1938.
The organ’s 6,655 pipes range in size from the size of a pencil to an incredible 32ft (almost 10 metres) long, and the bulk of them are now being removed by specialists Harrison and Harrison who will be transporting them to Durham for further work before the organ is rebuilt in 2023.
Ashley Grote, Master of Music at Norwich Cathedral, said: “It is tremendously exciting that, after so many years of planning and fundraising, the work on the cathedral organ has finally begun. We are already looking forward to the reinstallation of the newly rebuilt organ next year. It will be without doubt one of the finest cathedral organs in the country, fit to serve the cathedral and the people of Norwich for many, many decades to come.”
The project – which is costing about £1.8m – is being funded by money raised from the £2.5m They Shall Laugh and Sing Music Appeal which has HRH The Earl of Wessex as patron.
While the organ is being rebuilt, two digital organs will be taking the place of the Cathedral’s organ during services.