St Mark's Anglican Church

cnr Grafton and Albion Streets, Warwick

FIRST ORGAN: J.W. Walker & Sons, London, 1885
Installed 1886. Removed and installed in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rosalie, Brisbane

PRESENT ORGAN: Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane, 1923, with addition 1924
Removed from south transept to gallery 1940 Whitehouse Bros, Brisbane
Addition 1986 David Hudd, Brisbane
2 manuals, 15 speaking stops, tubular-pneumatic action


St Mark's Anglican Church, Warwick
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (August 2010)]


Historical and Technical Documentation by Geoffrey Cox1
© OHTA 1998, 2011 (last updated February 2011)

Warwick began to take shape in the late 1840s, several years after Patrick Leslie and other squatters had begun grazing the fertile plains of the area. Situated on the Condamine River, it soon became the centre for the local pastoral industry. The early prosperity of the area, along with the availability of excellent local sandstone, resulted in several fine nineteenth-century churches and public buildings. The first Anglican services in Warwick were held around 1848, continuing for ten years in the old Court House in Alice Street until a timber church was constructed on the present site in 1858. The foundation stone of the present sandstone church was laid in March 1868, the building having been designed by the Brisbane architect, Richard George Suter. It consisted originally of a chancel, transepts and short nave. Minor additions were made in 1874.

In 1938-39, substantial additions were made to the design of Brisbane architect, Lange L. Powell. These were in matching sandstone, and comprised the vestry and new chapel flanking the chancel, the completion of the nave and the base of the tower. The tower was extended in 1962.2

St Mark's Anglican Church, Warwick, c.1901,
before the completion of the nave and the addition of the tower
[Photograph: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland]


First Organ.

The first organ in this church was built by J.W. Walker & Sons, London, and ordered in 1884 through W.H. Paling & Co of Sydney via their branch in Toowoomba.3 The instrument was installed in January 1886, and was formally opened and dedicated by Bishop Webber on Sunday 21 February that year.4 It is now located at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the Brisbane suburb of Rosalie.

Present Organ.

The present organ was opened in June 1923, although it is dated 1922 in the ledger of Whitehouse Bros of Brisbane, when an allowance of £150 was made on the old organ. The scheme for the new organ appears to have slightly expanded at an early stage, as there is a specific reference in the ledger entry to the addition of a Principal stop and a Double Diapason on the Swell.5

The opening organ recital was given on 10th June 1923 by Dr C.A. Jarman, described on the programme as "Organist and Director of the Choir of St Mark's; late of Bathurst Cathedral and St Clement's Marrickville, Sydney". The programme opened with Bach's "St. Ann" Fugue, and went on to include works by Clarke, Sullivan, Guilmant, Wagner, and Jarman's own 'Meditation' (published soon afterwards in England). There were also vocal solos by Gounod and Jarman ("Crossing the Bar") rendered by Mrs Jarman. The programme concluded with the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel. Costing an estimated £1500 at the time, the organ was dedicated on Sunday 11th November 1923 to the memory of parishioners who gave their lives in the Great War.6 Whitehouse Bros added the Pedal Open Diapason 16ft in July 1924 at a cost of £150.7

The Whitehouse organ in its original position in the south transept
[Photograph: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland]

In 1940, following the additions to the church (including the gallery), the organ was re-located by Whitehouse Bros from its original position in the south transept to its present position in the gallery.8


The organ in its present location in the west gallery
[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (August 2010)]

When inspected in the 1970s, the tremulant was a distinctive feature of the instrument, operating quite violently on every stop of the organ, including the Pedal Open Diapason 16ft. It caused the entire gallery to shake.

Apart from the move to the gallery, the only significant alteration to the organ since the 1920s has been the replacement (by David Hudd in 1986) of the original Dulciana 8ft on the Great with a Fifteenth 2ft.9 Simon Pierce undertook repairs to the action relays in 1997.10


The console of the Whitehouse organ
[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (August 2010)]

Open Diapason
Harmonic Flute

Double Diapason
Violin Diapason
Viol d'Orchestre
Voix Celeste
Geigen Principal

Open Diapason

Great To Pedal
Swell To Pedal
Swell to Great
Swell Octave
Swell Sub Octave




[removed 1986]

[1986; replaced former Dulciana 8]


Compass: 61/30
Pneumatic action
3 combination pistons to Swell
2 combination pistons to Great
Pedalboard: Radiating and concave
Hitchdown-lever swell pedal.11


[Photograph by Trevor Bunning (August 2010)]


1 An earlier version of this article was published in the Conference Booklet for the OHTA 21st Annual Conference (1998): South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

2 Queensland Heritage Council, Queensland Heritage Register, location 600943.

3 Annual Report of St Mark's Church (15 April 1884), cited in a letter to G. Cox from Miss Muriel Stay (organist) (2 June 1974); No 1197 in J. W. Walker Ledger Book E (1875-1884), pp. 210-11.

4 The Brisbane Courier (30 January 1886), p. 6; The Brisbane Courier (20 February 1886), p. 5; The Brisbane Courier (23 February 1886), p. 6.

5 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 111.

6 Opening recital programme and date of dedication supplied to G. Cox by Miss Muriel Stay (organist), February 1974.

7 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p.100.

8 Whitehouse Bros Ledger (1922-1940), p. 100.

9 Personal communication to G. Cox from Havid Hudd, c.1986.

10 The Organ Voice, vol. 23, no. 4 (December 1997), p. 28.

11 Specification noted by G. Cox, 1974 and by Trevor Bunning, 2010.

[Photographs by Trevor Bunning (August 2010)]