Father Willis takes a bow | Salisbury Cathedral

Search form

The Cathedral, Magna Carta and Refectory will be closed for visiting all day on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 and the morning of Saturday 23 October. Click here for opening times.


Father Willis takes a bow

The time has finally come to bid a temporary farewell to our loyal 

You are here

Father Willis takes a bow

Posted By : Shane Brennan Wednesday 9th January 2019

The time has finally come to bid a temporary farewell to our loyal Father Willis organ as parts of it are removed for a major refurbishment by specialist organ builders and restorers Harrison and Harrison of Durham.

This faithful instrument has been at the heart of our Cathedral for nearly 150 years and this work is vital to ensure our famous organ survives for many years to come.

Scaffolding is going up from January until 15 February meaning there will be disruption to the Main Quire, Quire aisles and North Transept but we hope to keep this to a minimum. 

Alongside the refurbishment, a special interactive exhibition titled Pulling out the Stops will be on view from Saturday 16 February and until November 2019. Visitors will be able to learn about the rich history of the Father Willis organ, from its installation in 1877 to the present day. As part of the exhibition, visitors will be able to play a keyboard and pull out stops on a touch screen to recreate the unique sound of our Father Willis organ!

Other interactive features will include a model organ, parts from the organ itself, viewing windows for seeing the restoration as it happens, a children's activity sheet and videos that take us behind-the-scenes. 

Exhibition curated by Dr Alexandra Woodall and designed by RFA Design.


Would you like to help save our organ?

Repairing our organ will cost £700,000 and we need help to fund this important work. Please click here to donate and help us secure the future of this marvellous organ. We hugely appreciate donations of any amount. For more information contact Jilly Wright on 01722 555122 or j.wright@salcath.co.uk