The present organ in Wimborne Minster was built by Robert Hayward, in 1664. It was restored and enlarged on a number of occasions, notably in 1764 (by Brice Seede) and again in 1856, during the restoration of the Minster. At that time the organ was removed from its position on top of the choir screen and rebuilt in the South Choir Aisle, by the then organist, Mr. F. Blount. By this time the instrument possessed twenty-seven speaking stops spread over three manual divisions and a Pedal Organ of one stop. Ten years later the organ was again rebuilt and enlarged, by J.W. Walker, of London. The same firm carried out a major rebuild in 1965, when the instrument reached its present size.
The organ now contains fifty-four speaking stops, with thirteen couplers and one transfer. It is played from a detached draw-stop console which is situated immediately behind the North (Decani) Choir Stalls. The action is largely electro-pneumatic, with Solid-State for the piston and combination system.
As it stands today, the Minster organ is a versatile and thoroughly musical instrument. Instead of a Choir Organ, the lowest keyboard controls a Positive Organ, which contains a bright, classically voiced chorus and separate mutation stops. The Orchestral Trumpet, the pipes of which are constructed from spun brass and are mounted horizontally at the front of the instrument, is also played from this clavier.
Whilst it lacks any thirty-two foot stop, nevertheless the instrument is capable of a wide range of tonal effects.
A CD of the organ, played by Sean Tucker is available from the Minster shop.
Photos of organ on this page copyright Sean Tucker