An exceptionally rare and historically important organ originally commissioned in 1720 for the 1st Duke of Chandos while George Frederick Handel was his ‘composer in residence’, has been awarded £167,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a major restoration project.
The money, along with £42,000 raised locally, will enable the Grade I listed instrument to be returned to its former working glory, so that it can take pride of place in Holy Trinity Church, Gosport once again.
As part of the project a heritage outreach officer will also be employed to work with primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, colleges and music groups. A DVD will be created and working model built to show how an organ works – telling the rich and fascinating story of the instrument and bringing it to life for future generations.
Local MP Caroline Dinenage, said in support for the project:
“The ‘Handel Organ’ is one of Gosport's historical jewels and its full restoration will certainly be a source of great pride to my constituency. The parishioners at Holy Trinity Church along with all those who have contributed to this worthy cause should be commended for playing a vital part in the organ's renovation, and I am pleased that all their hard work has been rewarded with this important milestone grant award from HLF."