12th February 2022

[All Saints’ Church, Basingstoke]

Over the past fortnight I have visited and surveyed two interesting organs. All are in buildings of considerable beauty, perhaps little known to organists. I mention two here: All Saints, Basingstoke, and Beaulieu Abbey. All Saints, with its sturdy Hunter organ, was built in just two years during the first world war, and is a fine example of the work of Temple Moore; the sort of church which brings you to your knees when entering. Beaulieu Abbey church is most unusual in that it is the former refectory of Beaulieu Abbey, built in the thirteenth century. It retains the stone Reader’s Pulpit from which a monk would have read Scripture at meal times. Needless to say, there is nowhere sensible for an organ, so J. W. Walker contrived a compact instrument for an elegant freestanding case designed by Blomfield.

Beaulieu Abbey church organ