Cumbrian Society of Organists

Review : Visit to Crosby Ravensworth and Ravenstonedale : 18 June 2022

This was an interesting day out, visiting what seemed two quite remote parts of east Cumbria, Crosby Ravensworth indeed having one foot in the Yorkshire Dales. Although the church there is of ancient origin, it was considerably enlarged in the Victorian era, mainly through the generosity of the Dent family. Nine members and guests gathered in the magnificent church of St. Lawrence at midday, where David Jones, the local organist, introduced the 2-manual and pedals organ to us. The original house organ was enhanced by Wilkinson’s of Kendal in 1853 and later, and it has recently been restored by Principal Pipe Organs of York. It has a bright tone and varied registrations over two manuals and pedals, standing at the front of the north transept. Members enjoyed playing a wide variety of pieces on it, which illustrated its fine variety of tone colours.

After a convivial lunch at the King’s Head in Ravenstonedale, we met in nearby St. Oswald’s Church to examine and play the fine 1890 Harrison 2-manual and pedals instrument which has recently been restored by David Wells of Liverpool. With its relatively low ceiling, compared to many other ‘barn’ shaped churches in Cumbria, the instrument has a commanding presence in the building, with a very good selection of stops. Members found it a joy to play, with a comfortable console, refurbished pedal board and adjustable bench.

National Pipe Organ Register Links

St. Lawrence's, Crosby Ravensworth
St. Oswald's, Ravenstonedale