Adlington Hall; Historic Organ renovated with Cambridge Traditional Products Beeswax polish.

Lisa and Steve, Caretakers at Adlington Hall, have been using our Traditional beeswax polish as part of renovation work on the historic organ at the hall. It is one of the finest in the country, and was once played by Handle, no less !

 We are extremely proud to be supplying polish to enhance such an important historic instrument.

 Here is the report they have written about the work. (This was previously published in the Adlington Hall blog- ).

The Great c17th Organ of Adlington Hall

A breathtaking example of the Organmakers art, unlike anything else in England.

When you are lucky enough to look after one of THE most important surviving historic, musical instruments in the British Isles, you want to get it right... because you have to get it right!  

No instrument whatsoever, from an earlier period and precious few for up to century after it, remain in such outstanding original condition, in their original home and sounding completely authentic as the very first day it was played.

Our precious organ is a captivating subject, made more so as its provenance is a little shrouded in mystery.  No records nor documents have been discovered to provide a definitive date, nor a definitive maker. 

Fortunately, we of course have the organ itself to study and thankfully there are a number of intriguing clues that have helped to shed light to its potential origins.  Organmakers marks on the pipes, reed shallots, the soundboard and the rollerboards show a remarkable consistency in style with the famous organbuilder, Bernard Smith himself, known as ‘Father Smith’.  Another clue pointing in his direction is the script is also written in his native German.  The nomenclature of the ‘stops’ also suggest a strong association with the school of ‘Father Smith’.  One thing is for certain, this is a cherished and a truly awe inspiring instrument that must be seen and even better, heard to be appreciated.

As you enter the Great Hall via the medieval screens passage, you enter directly beneath the Great Organ.  Walking towards the majestic Canopy of Estates, then turning to view the organ, its magnificence is breathtaking.  Cradled between the two ancient Saxon trees of 1040ad and draped in rich, murals from c1705 either side, it is a sight like no other!

The organ is housed in a very fine Renaissance case and is beautifully detailed throughout its two tiers.  During the restoration works of the upper murals in January 2015, this was a great opportunity to finely remove dust and polish the facade in detail.  Scaffolding was installed and this gave the perfect platform to work from.  The meticulous dusting was completed over two weeks and the organ was breathing again.

Selecting a traditionally made, natural, organic polish to clean, protect and nourish the organ was essential.  Any good furniture restorer or antiques expert will tell you that Beeswax furniture polish from a traditional recipe, (one with pure gum Turpentine), is the best thing for polishing wood.

We researched traditional makers of polish and discovered ‘Cambridge Beeswax Products’ who were more than happy to provide all the information about their products and guidance if needed.

We ordered a small quantity of ‘Traditional Beeswax Polish’ along with a pot of ‘Timber Beam Reviver’.  We tested the beeswax polish on an old piece of c17th oak that was discovered lain in the loft and the results were in a word, AMAZING!  The Cambridgeshire Beeswax instantly transformed the piece from a forgotten repair remnant, into a beautiful piece of rich oak with depth and a patina not seen for a few of centuries.  This is the product for us so we ordered a larger order and set about polishing the organ.  The facade has been brought to life and is stunning!  The Organ and especially Corinthian pilasters, now beautifully reflect the light to its audience below.   We are so looking forward to our annual ‘Summer Organ Recital’ at 2pm, Saturday, August 1st 2015 to show it off.

Renowned composer George Frideric Handel, was a good friend of the Legh family and played the organ while visiting in 1741 or 1742.  We have on display in the Hall, the sheet of music that Handel actually composed and wrote for the Legh family and was called ‘The Hunting Song’.  The lyrics were written by Charles Legh Esq (1697 – 1781).

The results achieved with the beeswax are exemplary and highly recommended.  So much so, that we now use it everywhere around Adlington Hall on all our historic woodwork and furniture.  Our woodwork has a historical range from the Saxon period, through to Tudor Period right up to Georgian and the Cambridge Beeswax polish helps us keep them immaculate.  It is a joy to use and has a lovely, fresh aroma with many visitors commenting about it on our open days.

Steve WhatlingComment