2nd December 2022

Paul at the 1826 Elliot organ in Belton House, with Michael Coney raising the wind

Yesterday Anne and I spent a happy day at Belton House (a National Trust property of great character and beauty) and church, near Grantham. Wearing my hat as Diocesan Organ Adviser for Lincoln I was asked by the churchwarden Michael Coney to look at the charming little anonymous 2-manual organ in the church, which I duly did. The real treat for the day was then being allowed to play the 1826 Thomas Elliot organ in the gallery of the house’s chapel. Restored by Goetze & Gwynn in 1998, this gentle instrument with its delightful cantabile tone was a joy to play, the wind being raised by some very subtle hand blowing from Michael! The Great (with its spicy Sesquialtera/Cornet) descends to a sonorous low G, whereas the tiny Swell starts only at tenor G. Its unique pedalboard [pictured herewith] was added by Buckingham in 1833; I stayed clear of it! Greene, Stanley and Boyce all sounded perfect, the unequal temperament adding significant and welcome character. Belton is only 30 minutes away from us, so I look forward to a return visit at a warmer time of the year – the chapel was perishing cold!

Belton House pedalboard