The first pipe organ installed in Christ Church North Adelaide was a small single-manual English instrument of unknown origins, understood to have come from Dover Castle.
This instrument was replaced in 1873 by a 12-stop Gern instrument, which was subsequently enlarged by three stops in 1877. August Gern (1837-1907) was a German-born organ builder, who worked for Cavaillé-Coll in Paris from 1860-1866 before establishing his own business in London in 1866.
From this organ, located originally in a gallery at the rear of the church, the present one has grown. In 1885 an organ chamber was built in the south-east corner of the church, especially to house the instrument, which at this time was enlarged to three manuals by the Melbourne firm Fincham and Hobday. More important work was carried out in 1899 and then again in 1951. Further work was carried out in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, culminating in a major rebuild in 2003. Work at this time included additions to the organ, repairs to the organ chamber and the refurbishment of the instrument’s wooden façade. This work was carried out jointly by the Melbourne firm Australian Pipe Organs Pty Ltd and the prominent Adelaide company, George Stephens Organ Builders Pty Ltd.
The instrument now contains 43 speaking stops distributed over 3 manuals and pedals and around 2,300 pipes, placing it amongst the larger parish church organs in Australia. Because of its heritage and subsequent additions, it fits firmly into the English Romantic school of organ building.
For full details of the organ and its history, please see:
To read organ specifications, please download the PDF below.