St James' Anglican Church,
Menangle Road, Menangle

Bryceson & Bryceson (London) 1878 (1/6 mechanical)

Photos: Trevor Bunning (October 2018)

Photo: Peter Jewkes (2007)

St James' is situated atop a high hill at the southern end of the village of Menangle and is visible across many miles of rolling hills. The Nave was designed by John Horbury Hunt and constructed in 1876. Sir John Sulman designed the central tower, chancel and apse which were built after the generous benefaction of Mrs Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow in 1896.

Photo: TB

The organ was built by Bryceson & Bryceson of London in 1878. It was purchased second-hand in 1902 from Hill & Son by Mrs Macarthur Onslow as a further gift to the church.[1]

This organ remains totally unaltered. The instrument has given many years of reliable and satisfying service, scarcely ever needing maintenance or tuning. The cone-tuned pipes are in a pristine state and all other parts of the organ are of solid manufacture. In 1969 the organ was cleaned and overhauled by Arthur Jones of Sydney and this retained the original character and charm.

The organ has a most unusual design but this does not detract from its tonal appeal. It is a typical small instrument useful for the accompaniment of simple services.

Photo: Trevor Bunning (October 2018)

Peter Jewkes, when tuning the organ and taking these photos in March 2007, wrote:

There is a discrepancy re the dates - one plaque says 1876, and the name plate says 1878. As the organ was bought second-hand there is probably no way of knowing. What is certain is that the "Bryceson & Bryceson London 1878" plate is a fake, clearly done by Arthur Jones' engraver at the time of the 1969 work, possibly based on a pencil inscription he found inside the organ (which may well have been a hard-to-decipher "1876").

Photos: Trevor Bunning (October 2018)

The specification is:

Open Diapason
Violin Diapason
Open Bass


(13 pipes, C-0)
(42 pipes, co-r3)
(42 pipes, co-f3)
(12 pipes, C-B)
(54 pipes)
(54 pipes)

Manual to Pedal pulldowns
Compass 54/30
Mechanical action throughout
Enclosed in Swell, apart from Bourdon and Open Bass [2]

1 John Stiller, Documentation, St James' Anglican Church Menangle Organ, 28th June 1985, p.2.
2 ibid

Photos: Peter Jewkes (2007)


Photos: Trevor Bunning (October 2018)