Manchester Cathedral Organ

Structural Designer

Blackett-Ord Conservation Engineering

Client Name

Manchester Cathedral


Manchester, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: William Anelay Ltd     

ARCHITECT: Lloyd Evans Prichard Ltd


Various constraints made this project to provide structural support for a new organ designed by the internationally known organ designer Kenneth Tickell a challenging one. The organ is located above the Pulpitum which incorporates a medieval screen.

Judge's comment:

The challenge of this project was to provide hidden structural support for a new organ beneath the chancel arch of Manchester Cathedral. The structure had to avoid overloading the medieval screen columns below, and be concealed within the existing floor. No additional columns or visible ties were permitted, and a solid horizontal surface was required on which to build the organ. 

To ensure a firm organ base, the structure’s beams were preloaded using lead weights. The weights were then gradually reduced as the organ was assembled - preventing overloading of the columns. The Cathedral remained in use throughout the construction.

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