Churchgoers delight at £½m lottery grant to save 19th century organ

PUBLISHED: 13:02 29 January 2012

The organ in the Union Chapel

The organ in the Union Chapel


A historic organ in one of Islington’s most famous music venues is to be saved thanks to almost £500,000 of lottery money.

The Henry Willis organ at the Union Chapel, in Compton Avenue, was completed in 1887 and is the only fully intact hydraulic organ in the country.

But the instrument is in a poor state, and without major work the Grade I listed instrument would only have a couple of years of life left.

Now, its future is secure thanks to £470,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HFL) which will be used to repair the machinery, pipework and enclosure.

Philip Walker, chairman of Union Chapel project said: “We are thrilled, if not slightly overwhelmed, with the HLF grant which will go a long way towards fully restoring this fine and wonderful instrument which has loyally served and delighted generations of worshippers and concert-goers. We hope the restoration will continue and strengthen this happy tradition for generations to come.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette