The Chapel was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built in 1688. Provision was then made for a small instrument by the renowned 'Father' Bernard Smith. This was funded by a benefactor, and installed on the West Gallery of the Chapel.
The organ was successively rebuilt in both the eighteenth & nineteenth centuries. Its rebuilding was undertaken by Turner and Hill, respectively. In 1964 it was extensively reconstructed by Hill, Norman & Beard to plans drawn up by George Guest. At this point it had overflowed the small original seventeenth–century Smith case. It expanded into large chambers across the entire Organ Loft. By now, the instrument consisted of three manuals and 44 stops on electric action.
By 1988, the organ had become very unreliable, due to its unwieldy size. Due to its regular rebuilding, it also had a lack of thoughtful, structural design. Therefore, the existing Smith case was returned to its original size & layout. A new organ was then built within it, with fewer stops and mechanical action. It was constructed by Kenneth Jones & Associates of Bray, Ireland. This was their first organ in England. The new organ incorporated all of the surviving Smith pipes, and consists of 34 stops.
Our organ is widely acknowledged as one of the finest instruments in the Cambridge Chapels. It has a sensitive mechanical action and a balanced, well–blended sound. The 1988 specification married new materials with the original Smith pipework. This combination created an extremely versatile, beautifully–toned instrument. The piston capture system was replaced, and a sequencer added in 2021.
- Kenneth Jones and Associates, Bray, Ireland (1988)
- Original case & some pipework by Father Bernard Smith (1688)
|Great Organ||Swell Organ (enclosed)|
|Stopt Diapason||8||Voix Celeste||8|
|Pedal Organ||Chaire Organ|
|Bass Flute||8||Twelfth||2 2/3|
- Couplers Sw-Gt/Sw-Ch/Ch-Gt/Sw-Ped/Gt-Ped/Ch-Ped
- Gt/Ped combinations
- Great/Chaire Tremulant
- Swell Tremulant
- Wind control stop (Great and Chaire)
- Mechanical key action
- Mechanical stop action (electrically assisted)