A breath-taking example of an Organmaker’s art
When you are lucky enough to look after one of THE most important surviving historic, musical instruments in the British Isles, The Great c17th Organ of Adlington Hall and Gardens, you want to get it right… because you have to!
We are unaware of any other instrument that remains in such outstanding original condition, in their original home, sounding completely authentic as the very first day it was played.
Adlington Hall’s precious organ is a captivating subject, made more so as its provenance is a little shrouded in mystery. No records nor documents have been discovered to provide a definitive date, nor a definitive maker.
Fortunately, we of course have the organ itself to study and thankfully there are a number of intriguing clues that have helped to shed light to its potential origins. An Organmaker’s mark on the pipes, reed shallots, the soundboard and the rollerboards show a remarkable consistency in style with the famous organbuilder, Bernard Smith himself, known as ‘Father Smith’. Another strong clue pointing in his direction is the script is written in his native German. One thing is for certain, this is a cherished and a truly awe inspiring instrument, that must be seen and even better, heard to be appreciated.
The organ is housed in a very fine Renaissance case and is beautifully detailed throughout its two tiers. Selecting a traditionally made, natural, organic polish to clean, protect and nourish the organ was essential. Any good furniture restorer will tell you that Beeswax furniture polish from a traditional recipe, is the best choice.
We researched traditional makers of polish and discovered ‘Cambridge Beeswax Products’. We tested the beeswax polish on an old piece of c17th oak that was discovered lain in the loft and the results were in a word, AMAZING! This is the product for us so set about polishing the organ. The Organ and especially the Corinthian pilasters, now look amazing and beautifully reflect the light to its audience below. We are so looking forward to our annual ‘Summer Organ Recital’ on Saturday, August 1st 2015 to show it off.
The results achieved with the beeswax are exemplary and highly recommended. So much so, that we now use it everywhere around Adlington Hall on all our historic woodwork and furniture. Our woodwork has a historical range from the Saxon period, through to Tudor Period right up to Georgian and the Cambridge Beeswax polish helps us keep them immaculate.
Cambridge Beeswax Polish is a joy to use and has a lovely, fresh aroma with many visitors commenting about it on our open days.
Written and photography by Stephen Jones, Caretaker of Adlington Hall.