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From Pipework to Plastic for Durham Organ Builders

19 November 2014

A team of organ specialists visited Durham Cathedral today to work on an organ of a very different kind.

Harrison and Harrison Organ Builders are famous for their beautifully crafted organs, built in County Durham, and examples of their instruments can be seen at King’s College Cambridge, Westminster Abbey and of course Durham Cathedral. Originally built by Henry Willis in 1876, the organ at Durham Cathedral was rebuilt by Harrisons in 1905 and 1978.

But today they turned their hands to a totally different kind of skill, when they built the LEGO organ for Durham’s LEGO Cathedral.

The team from Harrison and Harrison joined a group of pupils from The Chorister School, including members of The Chorister School's very own LEGO Club. 

Harrisons have made a kind donation to build the LEGO organ and Dr Christopher Batchelor from Harrisons said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this important and prestigious project, and are delighted to be able to support the Cathedral as it moves forwards with its Open Treasure project. Our rebuilding of the Willis Organ was a milestone in the history of the firm, and we are proud to have looked after this highly-regarded instrument for over a century.”

Durham’s LEGO Cathedral is a fundraising project that is set to raise £350,000 towards the public appeal for this current phase of Open Treasure. Costing £10 million, it will transform some of the Cathedral’s most historic spaces, creating an exhibition route that will include the Monks’ Dormitory and finish in the Great Kitchen, where the treasures of St Cuthbert will be displayed, alongside other Cathedral treasures and visiting exhibitions.

Head of Development at Durham Cathedral, Gaye Kirby, said: “It is wonderful that Harrisons have chosen to recreate their magnificent organ in miniature in our LEGO Cathedral and we are very grateful to them for their generous donation and support of the Open Treasure appeal.”

To find out more about the LEGO Cathedral project, please click here