Reviving the Organ at Heydon

27 July 2022

The unique Norfolk conservation village of Heydon is set to bring its recently restored pipe organ in its fourteenth-century St Peter and Paul’s Church back to life with a memorable organ recital on Friday 30 September.

The recital will be given by Ashley Grote – Master of Music at Norwich Cathedral and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. His program will include popular organ works by J.S. Bach Elgar, Handel, Louis Lefébure-Wély’s famous “Sortie” in E flat, and Widor’s mighty “Toccata” from the 5th Symphony.

The rare and unusual pipe organ in the historically-important church has just undergone a full restoration –thanks to a grant of £33,600 from The National Heritage Lottery fund, combined with funds raised over several years by various activities in the quintessentially English county village near Reepham.

The organ was donated to the parish in 1883 by General Edward Bulwer in memory of his wife, Belle, who had died aged 45. General Bulwer was a member of the family, now Bulwer-Long, who owned the Heydon Estate and has lived at Heydon Hall since 1756. Heydon village is one of only about a dozen English villages that remain predominantly family owned and became Norfolk’s first conservation area in 1971.

In 2014, the organ was awarded a Grade II certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) as it includes an unusual reverse console, which permits the player to look out in to the church instead of facing inward. The organ has been listed in the BIOS register of Historic Pipe Organs as “an instrument of importance to the national heritage and deserving of careful preservation for the benefit of future generations.” 

The recital will begin at 7pm with two halves of 45 minutes and a 20-minute interval for refreshments. Tickets will be £20 and are available online through or Heydon Village Tea Shop (open Weds-Sun. 10 am to 4 pm).



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