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The Father Willis Organ was built in 1877

Salisbury Cathedral has three organs: a house organ built by John Snetzler (1710-85), a chamber organ built by Peter Collins, and the Cathedral’s principal instrument: the great ‘Father’ Willis Organ of 1877, which is used almost every day of the year in our services. 


The ‘Father’ Willis Organ is central to worship at our Cathedral. From the quietest organ piece played at a weekday evensong, to the thrilling accompaniment of thousands of congregation members singing hymns over the Christmas period, our famous instrument has fulfilled this role for over 130 years. It is continually sought after by recitalists and recording companies, and is widely regarded as one of Willis’s great cathedral organs.


The organ is also used as a teaching instrument, and is pivotal to the Cathedral’s outreach programme: thousands of school children experience the Willis every year during educational visits, and the organ has also been used for master-classes and group visits, such as the Pipe Up! event for young organists. 


Find out about the organ scholarship here.