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Duror: St Adamnan’s Episcopal Church

Various builders, since c.1700 — organ surveyed August 2022

analysis of data gathered during the August 2022 survey is still in progress—these pages will be updated as new information and conclusions come to light

Pipe markings

The Sowne team of Chris Bragg, Andrew Forbes and Steven McIntyre was assisted by local expert and incumbent organist of St Adamnan’s, Kerr Jamieson. The team inspected about 40 pipes and took their note markings. The pipes inspected were the middle octaves of the Principal and Fifteenth, six pipes from the Mixture, six from the Salicional and a few from the Open Diapason, the Stopped Diapason and Flute. 

As noted by Michael Macdonald, there are certainly Smith-like markings comparable to those of the Smith organ at Durham Cathedral and the middle octaves of the Smith organs at Edam and Cambridge. Other markings show similarities to those of other recorded builders. Some markings may even be those of Harris: large ‘C’s with serifs and strokes through them. 

The whole organ appears to be currently sounding a semitone lower than it initially may have been. Almost all the pipes inspected had at least two pitch markings, while some had four or five—one of which, located at the top of pipes, had note markings a semitone lower. However, it should be noted that the pipes marked ‘Sw Open’ and the Salcional pipes also displayed the two different pitches. The previous markings all look quite as old as the current ones, with long tails on the letters, suggesting that the rebuilding work took place a long time ago. There is no sign of any Snetzler markings.

Some of the original pipes may have been replaced as required by non-Smith pipes, all marked in the same hand ‘Pr’, with very different mouths from adjacent Smith pipes. Even these random replacements had second pitch markings. Possibly the discarded Swell contained a Principal stop, whose pipes were used to replace damaged Smith pipes.

Alan Buchan, 25/8/22