John Speller's Web Pages Temple Church, Bristol

John Speller's Web Pages

Temple Church, Bristol UK Organs Horizontal Menu Untitled Untitled
The Temple Church in Bristol, with its famous not-so-perpendicular Perpendicular tower -- not unlike the west towers of Notre-Dame-de-Paris in design -- has long been a Bristol landmark. The church, formerly second only in size to St. Mary Redcliffe in Bristol, was sadly destroyed and burnt out by German bombs on the night of 24 November 1940, including whatever was left of the organ, leaving only the tower intact.

The handsome gilt organ in the Temple Church was built by the celebrated Renatus Harris of London, though the date of its construction is unclear. Barrett in his History of Bristol (1789) seems to imply a date in or slightly after 1701, while David S. Knight in The Organ: An Encyclopedia (ed. Douglas Earl Bush and Richard Kassel) has 1709, and the Sperling Notebooks have 1718, so one pays one's money and takes one's choice. The stop list, after rebuilding by Smith of Bristol in 1847 was as follows:

Great Organ: CC to d in alt (Originally GG short to d in alt)

Open Diapason
Stopt Diapason
Octave Dulciana
Great Principal

Swell: Tenor C to c in alt (4 octaves)

Open Diapason
Stopt Diapason

Choir Bass: CC to Tenor B

Open Diapason
Stopt Diapason

Pedals: Two Octaves of German Pedals

Open Pedal Pipes (one octave CCC 16ft. to CC)


Swell to Great Unison
Swell to Great Octaves
Pedal to Great Unison
Pedal to Great Octaves

The only known photograph of the Harris organ in the Temple Church, Bristol, taken prior to the destruction of the organ case in the re-ordering of the church in 1881
Postcard view of the Temple Church, Bristol in around 1905
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