ST KILIAN'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, BENDIGO
Detailed documentation of pipe organ built by
by John Stiller
ORGELBAUMEISTER IN PADERBORN 1871
Organ Historical Trust of Australia
Investigated: 20th April 1979 and August 1979.
Organ Historical Trust of Australia
P.O. Box 200, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
The documentation of the Randebrock organ in St Kilian's, Bendigo, forms part of the project funded by the Myer Foundation and National Estate. This project on organ preservation has been carried out by the Organ Historical Trust of Australia on conjunction with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).
The assistance given by the following persons and organisations is gratefully acknowledged.
- The Myer Foundation
- National Estate
- Fr J.P. Stockdale
- Rt Rev Mgr P. De Campo
- Mr R.A. Anderson
- Ms Betty Stiller
- Mr John Henwood
- Mr John Maidment
- National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
Glossary of abbreviations and terminologies viii
1. The building 1
2. The organ 3
3. History 4
4. Degree of originality and historic significance 5
5. Pipework 6
6. Action 18
7. Soundboards 18
8. Wind supply 22
9. Console 22
10. Case 23
11. Cross-sectional diagram of the organ through c1 27
12. Cross-sectional diagram of the organ from C - f3 28
(Note that only those plates with a hyperlink have been included in the on-line version of this document.)
Plate following page:
Frontispiece: Remaining pipe of 4 fach Cornett i
1 Historical: Inscription on central display pipe 4
2 Inscription on former Swell mechanism 5
3 Inscription on former Swell mechanism 5
4 Pipework: Front of Hauptwerk soundboard 7
5 Back of Hauptwerk soundboard 7
6 Unterwerk soundboard 7
7 Front of Pedal soundboard 7
8 Nicking on metal pipes 10
9 Nicking on metal pipes 10
10 Diagonal front beard 10
11 Mouth of Unterwerk 4 Fuss Querf1öte 10
12 mouths of Pedal 16 Fuss Violonbass 10
13 Stoppers of Unterwerk B Fuss Portunal 10
14 Pivoted tuning shades of Pedal 16 Fuss
15 Inscription on Pedal 8 Fuss Gedacktbass 10
16 Stoppers and ears of Unterwerk 8 Fuss Liebl.
17 Inscription on Unterwerk 2 Fuss Flageolet 15
18 Inscription on Hauptwerk B Fuss Gamba 17
19 Inscription on Unterwerk 8 Fuss Salicional 17
20 Hauptwerk 8 Fuss Trompete 17
21 Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune (boots) 17
22 Action: View of key action from the console 19
23 Rollers of Hauptwerk key action 19
24 Squares of Unterwerk key action 19
25 Pedal key action and Pedal. Octav Coppel 19
26 Trundle of Pedal stop action 19
27 Soundboards: Pallets of Hauptwerk soundboard 20
28 Wind supply: Bellows 22
29 Wind supply: Concussion bellows 22
30 Console: General view of console 22
31 order of stopknobs on l.h. jamb 22
32 Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (l.h.s.) 22
33 Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (r.h.s.) 22
34 Order of stopknobs on r.h. jamb 22
35 Shape of stop head 24
36 Style of lettering on stop labels 24
37 Style of lettering on stop labels 24
38 Keyboard cheeks 24
39 Overhead view of pedal-board 24
40 Side view of pedal-board 24
41 Nameplate of builder 24
42 Slot for former Swell-shutter control 24
43 Pulley of console telltale 24
44 Organ bench 24
45 Case: General view of case 24
46 Shape of display pipemouths 25
47 Casework carving under central flat 26
48 Casework carving on l.h.s. front case 26
49 Casework carving under r.h.s. tower 26
1 Ground-plan of building 2
2 C major chord 2
3 Scaling curves for Principals 9
4 Scaling curves for metal Flutes and Gedacts 15
5 Scaling curves for Narrow-scaled ranks 17
6 Sketch of key action 19
7 Plan view of soundboard placement 21
8 Shape of stop head 24
9 Sketch of key profiles 24
10 Order of display pipes 26
11 Moulding profile 18 m below tower impost 26
12 Cross-sectional diagram of the organ through c1 27
13 Cross-sectional diagram of the organ from C - f3 28
Note: after the preparation of this documentation, the original wind system was removed from the organ and burnt. The gallery was dismantled and the organ moved to floor-level. This photograph records the situation around 1985.
1. THE BUILDING
Address: Corner of McCrae and Chapel Streets,
Church built in 1888; architect, W. C. Vahland.
Size: Length of nave: 31 m
Width of nave: 16 m
Width of chancel: 9 m
Depth of chancel: 5 m
Width of west-end gallery: 9 m
Depth of west-end gallery: 7 m
Ground plan of building Fig. 1
Carpet covers the entire nave except for the area occupied by the three
sets of pews.
The chord shown in Fig. 2 was played, held for 5
seconds, and then released.
The time taken for the Sound to become inaudible after release of the chord
was recorded, as heard from the console, and was found to be approximately
3/4 second with the following registration.
Hauptwerk:16 Fuss Bourdon, 8 Fuss Principal, 4 Fuss Principal,
2-2/3 Fuss Quinte, 2 Fuss Octav, 3 fach Mixtur
Pedal:16 Fuss Subbass, 16 Fuss Violonbass, 8 Fuss Principal-
bass, 8 Fuss Gedacktbass, 16 Fuss Posaune, Pedal.Coppel
This wooden building has sash windows.
Position of the organ
The organ is situated non-centrally in the west-end gallery as shown in
Fig. 1. It has occupied this position since its
installation in the present building.
Climatic conditions and heating
The organ has suffered very badly from extremes of temperature in the
wooden building. Judging from the condition of the casework, it is remark-
able that the organ has survived the summer heat to the extent that it has
been possible to renovate it to a playable condition.
2. THE ORGAN
This has been badly battered in the past, and all open metal pipes have
been tongued at same stage. Tuning slides have now been added to all
open metal pipes of the Hauptwerk.
Numerous pipes are still missing, particularly from the smallest pipes
of each rank.
The key action is rather noisy, which is only to be expected from m
instrument of this age - and past history. The Pedal key action has a
tendency to cypher very easily.
These are in amazingly good condition, and no murmurs are present.
There are, however, a few minor "rumings" and the pallet chest covers
do not seal perfectly.
Apart from a few leaks, the bellows is in satisfactory condition.
The external woodwork finish is very badly blistered, and some wood is
missing from the music desk assembly.
It is in this section of the organ where past severe climatic conditions
are evident. The woodwork varnish is blistered, the paint is faded, and
several large cracks are present. In general, the casework is now in a very
fragile state. Dust is present on the casework in enormous quantities
Major tuning and maintenance is carried out by Mr John Parker.
1871 organ built by August Randebrock, organbuilder of Paderborn.
1872 organ installed in the west-end gallery of the original St
Kilian's 'S Church, Bendigo, by George Fincham. Opened on
11th December, 1872 by H. F. Towle. 
1887 Church declared unsafe and a temporary wooden church built,
opened lst July, 1888. Organ moved into new church by George
1896 Some new pipes supplied by George Fincham.
1971 Renovation work commenced on the organ through the efforts of
Fr J. P. Stockdale and Mr R. A. Anderson.
The missing 4 fach Cornett on the Hauptwerk was replaced
with new pipes.
1979 The two missing reed ranks (Hauptwerk 8 Fuss Trompete and
Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune were replaced with new pipes.
Renovation work is still in progress.
Between 1896 and 1971, the organ suffered from continued vandalism.
Numerous pipes were stolen from the organ, and it seems as if three
attempts have been woe in the past to complete the ranks of pipes
from which pipework has disappeared. It is not known when the three
sets of pipes mentioned above were removed. Only one original pipe
remains from the Hauptwerk 4 fach Cornett.
4. DEGREE OF ORIGINALITY
Prior to 1971, the Hauptwerk 4 fach Cornett, 8 Fuss Trompete, and
Pedal 16 Fuss Posaune were entirely missing. These have since been
replaced by new pipework manufactured by Hill, Norman add Beard. Most
of the other original pipework is present, although tuning slides have
been added to all open metal pipes on the Hauptwerk.
These are completely original.
All action is completely original.
d. wind supply
The hand-blowing apparatus is mostly intact, but is disconnected. The
bellows feeders have been clamped shut.
This is completely original.
This is also completely original, although it has been damaged
by excessive summer heat.
Former Swell box
There is documentary evidence within the organ to suggest that the
Unterwerk was originally enclosed in a Swell box. Two labelled relics of
the mechanism associated with the Swell are shown in Plates 2 and 3. The
inscription on Plate 3 suggests that the Swell shutters were situated on
top of the box. There is also a slot to the right of the pedal-board for
the former hitch-down pedal. Plate 42 The Swell box and most of its
mechanism have been removed from the organ at some stage. It is possible
that the Swell box was never installed.
The organ in St Kilian's, Bendigo, is the only large nineteenth century
German organ in Australia. As such, it is a unique example of a major
school or organbuilding and forms an important link with German
Romantic organbuilding and organ music.
Due to the effects of wars and the continual striving towards
"modernisation" and "improvement", such instruments have become extremely
rare in Germany. The fact that this organ deviates but slightly from its
original form makes it an instrument of international historic
Its conservative tonal design exhibits close relationships to earlier
schools of organbuilding in Germany. The case of the St Kilian's organ
is outstanding for its ornate carving, particularly beneath the central flat of
pipes and in the upper portions of the casework. The fact that it still possesses
its original tin display pipes is probably unique, since most organs in Germany
had their tin display pipes removed in World War I to supply metal to the war
Consequently the preservation of this outstanding organ is most important.
Due to the severe climatic conditions which it has suffered at St Kilian' s
(a wooden church), it would be wise to move this organ into the Sacred Heart
Roman Catholic Cathedral, Bendigo, where its continued preservation would be more
assured. It could do service there as a choir organ in one of the transepts.
All key action is mechanical.
The Hauptwerk has a "suspended" key action, and consists of one set of squares and
The Unterwerk and Pedal key actions are similar W that of the Great except that
the actionis transferred downwards.
The coupling action is mechanical, and the Manual.Coppel has its own set of
backfalls The Pedal. Coppel (Hauptwerk to Pedal) operates by means of a set of
one-armed levers. The Pedal. Octav Coppel has its own set of squares.
Sketch of key action Fig. 6
View of key action from the console Plate 22
Rollers of Hauptwerk key action Plate 23
Squares of Unterwerk key action Plate 24
Pedal key action and Pedal. Octav Coppel Plate 25
Materials of key action: Wood
The stop action is also mechanical.
The Hauptwerk stop action functions by means of levers which transfer the motion
from the stopknob trace rods upwards to the sliders. The top ends of these levers
directly engage the sliders between the C- and C#-soundboards of the Hauptwerk. The
Unterwerk stop action operates in a similar manner, except that the action is
displaced downwards to the treble end of the chromatic soundboard.
The Pedal stop action is somewhat more complex, and wooden trundles are used to
turn the action through 90 degrees.
Trundle of Pedal stop action Plate 26
Wind pressure: 61 mm (2-3/8 inches), measured at C Unterwerk 2 Fuss Flageolet.
All pipework stands on soundboards (that is, no wind chests present).
Details of soundboards
Hauptwerk Unterwerk Pedal
Distance from floor to bottom
of pallet chest 2.74 m 49 cm 1.76 m
Total width 1.66 m (x2) 2.45 m 1.73 m (x2)
Total depth 1.18 m 1.0 m 95 cm
Depth of pallet chest 450 mm 365 m 355 mm
Height of pallet chest 128 mm 120 mm 140 mm
Height of note channels 75 mm 75 mm 60 mm
Thickness of sliders 8 mm 8 mm 8 mm
Thickness of upper board 45 mm 47 mm 45 mm
Height of rack board 114 mm 115 mm None
Form of pallets C - B: Split Simple Simple
c0 - f3: Simple
These Soundboards have no bottom board (table).
The Hauptwerk and Pedal divisions are each divided into C-and C#- soundboards.
There is a distance of 495 mm between the C- and C#-soundboards of the Hauptwerk.
The corresponding distance between the Pedal C- and C#-soundboards is 400 mm.
The upper boards occur in blocks for each set of pipes.
Pallets of Hauptwerk soundboard Plate 27
Plan view of soundboard placement Fig. 7
Order of channels
Hauptwerk: Symmetrical, large in centre, divided
Pedal: Symmetrical, large in centre, divided
Order of ranks (from the front of each soundboard)
Hauptwerk Unterwerk Pedal
1. 4 fach Cornett l. 8 Fuss Geigen. Principal l.16 Fuss Posaune
2. 8 Fuss Principal 2. 8 Fuss Portunal 2. 8 Fuss Gedacktbass
3. 16 Fuss Bourdon 3. 8 Fuss Liebl. Gedackt 3. 8 Fuss Principalbass
4. 8 Fuss Hohlflöte 4. 8 Fuss Salicional 4. 16 Fuss Subbass
5. 8 Fuss Gedackt 5. 8 Fuss Fernflöte 5. 16 fuss Violonbass
6. 8 Fuss Gamba 6. 4 Fuss Querflöte
7. 4 Fuss Principal 7. 4 Fuss Octav
8. 4 Fuss Gedacktflöte 8. 2 Fuss F1ageolet
9. 2-2/3 Fuss Quinte
10. 2 Fuss Octav
11. 3 fach Mixtur
12. 8 Fuss Trompete
Measurements of slider widths (Rank designations as above. All in m)
Hauptwerk Unterwerk Pedal
Bearer 42 45 48
Rank 1 51 62 58
Bearer 43 60 110
Rank 2 56 59 50
Bearer 50 66 130
Rank 3 57 62 42
Bearer so 60 180
Rank 4 56 58 50
Bearer 60 50 185
Rank 5 46 41 55
Bearer 41 32 50
Rank 6 45 59
Bearer 60 160
Rank 7 50 58
Bearer 38 40
Rank 8 47 46
Bearer 35 35
Rank 9 44
Rank 10 35
Rank 11 55
Rank 12 51
8. WIND SUPPLY
One double-rise bellows, 3 m wide x 1.51 m deep, with feeders, situated
under the Pedal soundboards, The folds of the bellows both fold inwards.
The bellows weights are rocks and bricks which bear no significant
Concussion bellows for the Hauptwerk, 75 cm x 49 cm. The Unterwerk and
Pedal departments have no separate concussion bellows but the Hauptwerk
concussion bellows is also partially effective on the Unterwerk. Plate
Wind trunk measurements
External Thickness Total
dimensions of timber length
To Hauptwerk 26.5 cm x 26.5 cm 14 mm
Branch to 21.7 cm x 16.0 cm 20 mm 2.42 m
The wind trunk to the Pedal department branches off from the main
Hauptwerk wind trunk. The same also occurs for the Unterwerk, and this
can be seen in Plate 29.
There is no Tremulant on this organ.
The blowing handle still exists, but it is not in position. The bellows
feeders are still attached, but are clamped shut. The blower's telltale
is no longer present.
Type of safety valve: Pull-up
General view of console Plate 30
The console is situated on the left side of the organ case.
Order of stopknobs on l.h. jamb Plate 31
Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (l.h.s.) Plate 32
Order of stopknobs on overhead jamb (r.h.s.) Plate 33
Order of stopknobs on r.h. jamb Plate 34
Material of stop heads: Ebony
Material of stop labels: Porcelain
Diameter of face: 38 - 40 m
Vertical distance between
between stopknobs: l.h.s. centre r.h.s
22-22.5 mm 78 mm 120-125 mm
between stopknobs: - 100-105 mm -
Length of head: 62 mm
Length of draw: ~60 mm (Manual. Coppel ~40 mm)
Cross-section of shank: 22 m wide x 25 m high
Shape of stop head Fig. 8 and Plate 35
Style of lettering on stop labels Plates 36, 37
Two manual keyboards of compass C - f3 (54 notes)
Covering of naturals: Ivory
Material of sharps: Ebony
Length of one octave: 166 mm
Length of 3 octaves 498 mm
Depth of touch Man. I 16 mm
Man II 11 mm
Horizontal distance between Manuals I & II: 140 mm
(NB manuals do not overhang)
Vertical distance between Manuals I & II: 68 mm
Distance from Manual I to pedal-board: 707 mm
Sketch of key profiles Fig. 9
Keyboard cheeks Plate 38
Pedalboard of compass C - c1 (25 notes)
A#-centred, concave and radiating slightly outwards.
Degree of concavity: c0 is 45 mm lower than extremities.
Total length of naturals: 470 mm
Length of sharps: 145 mm
Overhead view of pedalboard Plate 39
Side view of pedal-board Plate 40
The music-desk assembly has two brass clips, and can be lifted out to
expose the Hauptwerk key action.
The nameplate of the builder consists of a carved wooden angel bearing the
inscription "Paderborn/R. Randebrock (sic)/1871." This is situated beneath
the central flat of display pipes. Plate 41
The Swell-shutter control was a hitch-down pedal which is no longer present.
The pulley of the console telltale is all that remains of this telltale.
Organ bench Plate 44
General view of the case Plate 45
The display pipes are arranged into seven flats and two outer towers in
the following groups.
11 (upper level) 11 (upper level)
10 7 11 9 11 7 10
These 87 pipes are made of tin and are not decorated.
Shape of display pipemouths Plate 46
Only the central flat of 9 pipes are speaking pipes, and are C - G# of
the Hauptwerk B Fuss Principal.
order of display pipes Fig. 10
width of case: 4.2 m (plus 58 m for organ bench)
Depth of case: 4.2 m
Height of case: Almost 5 m
Material of casework: Oak, stained and varnished, edges painted in gold,
blue, green or red.
Casework carving under central flat Plate 47
Casework carving on l.h.s. front case Plate 48
Casework carving under r.hs. tower Plate 49
moulding profile 18 m below tower impost Fig. 11
Missing parts: Panel from l.h.s. of case
Panel above console
Panel behind Hauptwerk soundboards
1 National Trust of Australia (Victoria):National Trust Register
as at 31st December 1976 p. 20
2 E. N. Matthews: Colonial organs and Organbuilders p. 164
6 R. A. Anderson: "The German organ in St Kilian's Church, Bendigo",
0HTA News Volume 2 No. 1 p. 16
P. G. Andersen: Organ Building & Design, Allen & Unwin, l969
W. Supper et. al.: Richtlinien am Schutze alter wertvoller Orgeln,
Verlag Merseburger, 1958
E. N. Matthews: Colonial organs and Organbuilders, M.U.P., l969
National Trust of Australia (Victoria); National Trust Register as at 31st
December 1976 National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
BIOS Journal Volume I Ed. Michael Sayer Positif Press 1977
John Stiller: "Adaptation of the Weilheimer Regulativ to Australian
Conditions", OHTA News, January 1979
OHTA News Volume 2 No. 1, (January 1978) Ed. John Henwood
© Organ Historical Trust of Australia 1980
P.O. Box 200, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia