PLUSCARDEN ABBEY
ELGIN, SCOTLAND, UK

Manual I
1
  Open Diapason
8
 
 
2
  Stopped Diapason
8
 
 
3
  Principal
4
 
 
4
  Fifteenth
2
 
 
5
  Sesquialtera
II
 
           
Manual II
6
  Clarabella
8
 
 
7
  Salicional
8
 
 
8
  Voix Celeste
8
 
 
9
  Flute
4
 
           
Pedal
10
  Subbass
16
 
 
i
  Manual I to Pedal    
 
ii
  Manual II to Pedal    
           

Tracker key action : Mechanical stop action : Slider soundboards

 

Pluscarden button  view main image of Pluscarden organ

The Benedictione monastery of Pluscarden Abbey is pleasantly situated in a small secluded glen some six miles south of Elgin in the district of Moray. Its mediaeval buildings date from around 1230, but fell into disuse after the Reformation. Monastic life was resumed in 1948 with the refounding of the monastery from Prinknash Abbey, and the new organ has been built as part of the fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

The monks sing the traditional Benedictine offices in Latin, rising before dawn for Prime and ending with Compline in the evening. The organ is therefore used almost exclusively for accompaniment of Gregorian chant, the requirement being for an instrument with a variety of ranks of unison tone, two manuals to facilitate responsorial accompaniment, and a small chorus for solo repertoire and voluntaries. The pipes have been gently voiced to complement the extremely resonant acoustic of the Abbey church.

The organ casework is made of solid oak, with mouldings matched to the adjacent monks' stalls. The front pipes are of polished tin, and the pipeshades were designed by Br Michael de Klerk and carved by Lyndale Woodcarving. They depict a fleur-de-lys pattern on a honeycomb background, symbolic of St Mary and St John the Baptist (as well as the Abbey bees and the honey they produce). Within the case, all of the manual pipes stand on a common soundboard, and with the exception of the Open Diapason in the front are enclosed within a swell box. Wind is supplied by a small electric blower in the lower part of the case and regulated by a wedge bellows. The consultant to the Abbey was Dr. John Rowntree.

Pipeshade carving detail

Detail of pipeshade carving

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