Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Organ moved to St. Cuthbert’s Church, Milburn

Following the closure of Ravenstonedale URC the organ was transferred to St. Cuthbert's Church, Milburn. In September the organ was dismantled and transported to Milburn for re-assembly.  Assembly was completed in November 2006. This account of the move is reproduced from a leaflet produced by Milburn Church and kindly supplied by Helen Bendelow.

Moving Day and rebuilding at Milburn

Organ on the move
Organ dismantled

The Organ at the last service at Ravenstonedale and in its new environment at Milburn

High Chapel Ravenstonedale

Organ Specification

The organ, as built by Wordsworth and Co. in 1907 for the Congregational Chapel in Ravenstonedale in Westmorland was to the following specification:

Organ sketch
Manual compass CC to a - fifty- eight notes.
Pedals compass CCC to F- thirty notes
Action: mechanical (tracker)

1 Open Diapason     8 (lowest 5 stopped wood next 14 as case pipes)
2 Hohl Flute             8
3 Dulciana                8 (lowest 12 grooved with Hohl Flute)
4 Principal                4
5 Harmonic Flute     4
6 Super octave coupler
7 Bourdon                16
8 Great to Pedals

Numbers 2- 5 enclosed in a swell box with balanced swell pedal.
Total number of pipes...308
Two composition pedals
Hand blowing was later replaced by an electric motor and fan initially placed on the left of the organ, but later moved to under the floor of the chapel.

In February 2006 the Congregational Church at Ravenstonedale was scheduled to close, and the organ was to be sold.  Leigh Harding bought the organ and offered it to St. Cuthbert’s Church at Milburn.  In May 2006, a faculty was sought for the installation of the organ, which required the removal of some pews.  The faculty was granted in late August.

Organ Builders

The organ builders Wordsworth and Co. were originally known in 1866 as Wordsworth and Maskell of Leeds. They were one of several aspiring organ-building firms to establish themselves in the north of England, where massive concentrations of population, brought about by the Industrial Revolution, were building Chapels and Churches.

"Wordsworth had large connection in the counties of Lancashire (c. 60 organs), Lincolnshire (c.23 organs) and Yorkshire (c. 80 organs); in Leeds alone they built over fifty new organs as well as rebuilding fifteen others" (Pipes and Actions, Laurence Elvin1995). They exported instruments as far afield as India, Newfoundland, Russia, Australia, Canada, and the West Indies.

Their most prestigious instrument was the four manual in Epping Parish Church in 1895. They built organs for Canon F.H.Sutton, a one-time authority on pipe organs, at Brant Broughton and Leadenham in Lincolnshire. In the 1880's they worked on the organ in Lincoln Cathedral.

In 1895, the firm became known as Wordsworth and Co, and in 1922 Wood Wordsworth, a firm that later worked on the organs of Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Parish Church, and Worcester Cathedral. The firm ceased trading in 1981.

 “The History of the Dales Congregational Churches” (Thomas Whitehead, 1930 p101) states, “In 1907 the chapel was restored, a new organ installed, and the schoolroom enlarged, at a cost of £460, the whole of which was raised within a year.”