The Snetzler Organ

When an organ was first set up in Ludlow Parish Church is not known - remoter periods of history are largely unchronicled. But it is probable that an organ was here as early as 1400. There is a late 15th Century account when money was paid for "mending ye organs". The first know organist was here from 1492 to 1508.
In the mid-16th century there were two organs in St Laurence. However, with the Commonwealth decree of 1650 to destroy all organs, records became scant.
Then, in 1764, through the generosity of the Earl of Powys, John Snetzler, a Swiss organ builder living in London, completed what still remains the heart of today's organ. It was completed at a cost of £ 1,000 (about £110,000 in today's money). The organs had no pedalboard, but three keyboards (or "manuals"). It had 19 stops, most of which survive to today. The organ originally stood on a platform directly under the church tower.

In the 19th Century, the renowned firm of Gray and Davison restored the organ and enlarged it, at the same time moving it to its present position in the North Transept. By this time, a fourth manual had been added.
Further changes and improvements were made during the 20th century, the more significant being as a result of some generous donations.

In 2006, thanks largely to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, further work was carried out to clean the interior of the instrument, improve the console, and to add a set of pipes to re-create one of the stops of the original Snetzler organ, removed in the 19th Century.

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