Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church
Annandale

Hill & Son 1890, 3m., 5 sp. st., mechanical




Historical and Technical Documentation by Kelvin Hastie
© OHTA 2005 (last updated October 2005)

 

The concrete foundations of the present church were laid in 1886 and the building opened on 23 February 1889.  The architects were Blacket Bros. (Cyril and Arthur Blacket).  It was commissioned by Helen Mackie Baillie in memory of her husband John Hunter Baillie (1818-1854) whose estate on her death in 1897 was valued at £52,035. 

 

This white Pyrmont sandstone building in the Decorated Gothic style is among Sydney's most important 19th century architectural landmarks, with a breathtaking 182-feet high spire supported on flying buttresses.  It incorporates a clerestoried nave of six bays, aisles, transepts and a vestry placed externally to resemble a chancel.  The shafts of the internal columns are of Aberdeen granite with plinths and capitals of Victorian basalt; the brass coronets are part of the original gas lighting.  The pulpit and font are carved from Oamaru limestone and the timber furnishings are of lavish construction. [1]

 

The famous Hill & Son organ, standing on a raised platform at the rear of the church, is one of the best-preserved and most visually appealing instruments built by the firm in the last decade of the 19th century.  Its case, designed by Dr A.G. Hill, is reminiscent of the firms’ design for Chichester Cathedral, from 1888 and incorporates burnished tin façade pipes. Built in 1890 as job number 2078 at a cost of £850, the organ was opened on 29 May 1892 by Sydney City Organist, Auguste Wiegand, who immediately advised on a range of modifications.  These included the transfer of the Swell Cornopean to the Great at 16-foot pitch, the provision of a Vox Humana 8’ to the Swell, the enclosure of the Choir division and the provision of American-style balanced “swell shoes”.  Later alterations included the swapping and/or transposition of ranks among the Swell and Choir divisions and, in 1967, the replacement of Wiegand’s Vox Humana with a Mixture III. [2]  

 

In 1981 Roger H. Pogson returned most transposed ranks to their original positions and subsequent restoration work has been funded by several grants from the NSW Heritage Office and fund raising by the church. This work has been supervised by the church organist, Mr Ralph Lane in conjunction with Graeme Rushworth, and carried out in stages by Peter D.G. Jewkes Pty Ltd (in 1997, 2001 and 2003) and in the past year by Pipe Organ Reconstructions Pty Ltd.  This has included the provision of a new blower, restoration of the Choir, Great and Pedal soundboards, together with their pipework and actions, and restoration of the pedalboard. 

 

Click here for further photos  


MP3 file (7.5MB) of Michael Dudman playing the Fantaisie in E flat by C. Saint-Saëns (recorded 1982)


Hill & Son 1890 (3/25 mechanical)

GREAT
Lieblich Bourdon
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Cone Gamba
Principal 
Wald Flute
Twelfth 
Fifteenth 
Mixture
Trumpet 

SWELL
Open Diapason 
Stopped Diapason
Salicional 
Principal 
Lieblich Flute
Oboe 
Cornopean 
Tremulant

CHOIR
Gedeckt 
Dulciana 
Gemshorn 
Suabe Flute 
Clarionet

PEDAL
Open Diapason
Bourdon 

16 Ft.
8 Ft.
8 Ft.
8 Ft.
4 Ft.
4 Ft.
3 Ft.
2 Ft.
3 Rks
8 Ft.


8 Ft.
8 Ft.
8 Ft.
4 Ft.
4 Ft.
8 Ft.
8 Ft.



8 Ft.
8 Ft.
4 Ft.
4 Ft.
8 Ft.


16 Ft.
16 Ft.




+










+
*
*

*




*
*

TC








COUPLERS

Swell to Great

Swell to Choir

Great to Pedal

Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

 

 

 

Mechanical action

Compass 56/30

 

2 composition pedals to Swell

3 composition pedals to Great

Balanced swell pedal §

 

No of pipes =  1,368

Pitch a1 = 444 Hz at 180 C

Wind pressure = 76 mm (3”)

Handblowing mechanism still operable

 

Mixture composition:

C - f#0 :    17.19.22

g0 - a#1 :  15.19.22

b1 - g3 :    8.12.15

 

 

+ Grooved bass with Stopped Diapason

* Ranks moved between divisions and/or transposed to new pitches in 1892, 1957 and 1967, but restored to original positions by Roger H. Pogson 1981 and Peter D.G. Jewkes 1997.

¶ Added before 1968

§ Added 1892

Hill & Son, London, 1890

Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, Annandale

(drawing by Graeme Rushworth)

 



[1] Alan Roberts and Elizabeth Malcolm, Hunter Baillie: a history of the Presbyterian Church in Annandale.  Annandale: Committee of Management of the Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1973.

 

[2] Rushworth, Historic Organs, 281.