St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Mansfield

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Coordinates: 53°08′37″N 01°11′35″W / 53.14361°N 1.19306°W / 53.14361; -1.19306

St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Mansfield
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Broad Church
Dedication St. Peter and St. Paul
Parish Mansfield
Diocese Southwell and Nottingham
Province York
Vicar(s) Revd David Fudger
Organist/Director of music James Hudson

St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, Mansfield is a parish church in the Church of England located in Mansfield, Nottingham.

The church is Grade I listed by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as a building of outstanding architectural or historic interest.


The church dates from the early 12th century. Chantry chapels and the clerestory were added in the 15th or 16th centuries, and the spire dates from 1699.


There are eight bells in the tower dating from 1603. The bells were cast in 1948.


The organ was acquired in 1970 from Clare College, Cambridge. Re-consecrated at the end of 2000, the magnificent 3-manual organ is one of the finest in the Southwell and Nottingham Diocese. The foundation of this instrument was the organ of Clare College, Cambridge, which was purchased in 1970 together with its ornate case. It was substantially altered and enlarged by Noel Mander of London before installation in the south chapel in 1971. The original pipe work dating from the 1870s was by Gray & Davison and had been revoiced by Harrison & Harrison in 1911.

In 2000 Woods of Huddersfield replaced the worn out action with a modern micro-processor based solid system and thoroughly cleaned and overhauled the whole instrument. They also completed the 32' pedal reed which had previously been effected electronically.

8th May 2012 It would appear that the organ currently installed in St. Peter’s Mansfield has a much longer and interesting history than is recorded above.

The Organ was first built as a four manual organ and placed in a small church St. Wilfrid’s Honington Lincolnshire in c1837/8 The Rector was Dr. Henry Cole an enthusiast and eccentric for organs and pianos, He was Rector of Honington Lincolnshire from 1804 until his death in 1867. The Organ was paid for by this rector and was installed in a gallery in the church. The Organ builder according to the Clare College archives was Henry Cephas Lincoln of 196, High Holborn London, and the organ was built to replicate the (then) new organ in Birmingham Town Hall (1834) on a smaller scale of course.

The Rector of Honington made his will that the organ should go to Clare College Chapel Cambridge on his death (where he had been a student when younger). So in 1868 this is what happened following some discussion between The church authorities and Clare College. (It may be possible that Gray and Davison did this transfer, but I have seen no record of this except that they are mentioned in your story here and also in the NPOR records which are incomplete and Nicholas Thistlethwaite’s book “The Organs of Cambridge”). The Organ was rebuilt in Clare College as a three manual. The organ is said to have been much too large for Honington, and the volume of sound frightened the elderly people living in the small village, who could hear it. We are also told that it vibrated the windows to such an extent that wooden pegs had to be placed in them. We are also told that it was never used for services. Extraordinary you might think. Even more bizarre is the story that they buried revd Cole in the case of his grand piano in the aisle of the church.

The rest of the story is similar to what is already recorded, but one or two items of interest are added here.

In 1853, Forster and Andrews (Organ builders of Hull) fitted their first pneumatic lever action to the Swell Organ, and also we are told re-modelled the console to have Forster and Andrew’s first angled stop jambs.

In 1903 the organ was restored by Norman and Beard of Norwich, who added tubular pneumatic action to the pedal organ, then in 1911, the organ was re-built by Harrison and Harrison of Durham. Who extended the case sideways and made various alterations. The new case was designed by the College architect John Simpson.

The organ was moved to St. Peter’s Mansfield, and was completely re-built by Manders in 1970. There are photographs of the organ taken in 1906 (as it would have been when in St. Wilfrid’s) and after the 1911 re-build by Harrisons

The following references apply.

  • 1. Mr. Tim Carter, Church Warden at St. Wilfrid Honington Lincolnshire. Extract from a book held by Lincolnshire Archives in Honington village documents section. (I have a copy of the text from the book headed “Two Honington Vicars 1804 -1916”) but I am not sure about the copyright of this for public viewing. Book. "English History Reflected in a Lincolnshire Village" by Dr. Bruce J. Holley. ISBN 0-9541883-0-6. Pages 61-63.
  • 2. Clare College Cambridge Archives deed ref Safe A: 26/8 and ref CCAD/7/1/8/6. Robert Athol is the archivist.
  • 3. Book. “The Organs of Cambridge” Nicholas Thistlethwaite published 1983. Positif Press. ISBN 0 906894 04 2. Pages 25-27.
  • 4. Book. “Forster and Andrews Organ Builders 1843 to 1956” by Laurence Elvin. Page 12.
  • 5. Book. “Forster and Andrews, Their Barrel, Chamber, and small Church Organs” by Laurence Elvin. Page 11.

Information supplied by Carey Moore (Mr.)8th May 2012

The specification of this instrument is as follows:


  • Maria Lister 1795–1901
  • Joseph Webster ca. 1829
  • Miss Cursham ca. 1869
  • William Blakely 1883–1891
  • Arthur Howard Bonser 1889–1902[1]
  • Miss M Coleman 1904–1911
  • Dr George P Allen 1911–1957 (formerly organist of St. Peter's Church, Stapenhill, Burton upon Trent)
  • C K Turner 1957–1959
  • Malcolm Cousins 1959–1993
  • David Sheeran Butterworth 1993–1995
  • John Gull 1996
  • David Cowlishaw 1997
  • John P Rose 1998–2007
  • Paul Hayward 2007-8
  • James Hudson 2009


  1. ^ Dictionary of Organs and Organists. First Edition. 1912, p250