The National Pipe Organ Register was begun in its present computer based form by Peter le Huray and Mike Sayers in 1991. It was supported from 1992 to 1997 by the British Academy and between 1998 and 1999 by the Pilgrim Trust. The NPOR presently resides on a computer system in the Emmanuel College Cambridge. The NPOR is owned by the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) and its development is guided by members of the Council. Data input and editing is done by a small group of extremely valuable helpers managed through an agreement with the Royal College of Organists. BIOS is most grateful to all those who have contributed material to the NPOR; without them it would not exist.
Searches may be performed on building address and on builder name. The output from these is in the form of a short-list arranged by County and Town. For each survey the following information is shown:

Name of building
Index for the survey in the NPOR
Surveyor code identifying the source of the information
Date of the survey
Number of manuals and whether pedals are present
Builders and dates

Specific surveys may be selected from the short-list display and full details obtained. For many buildings, especially famous ones, a number of surveys are listed. These may be of different periods in the organ's history or just different views of the organ compiled by different surveyors. As with any archive collection, it is the readers' responsibility to select what is appropriate for their purposes. The NPOR is not able to confirm the contents of any particular survey but would be most grateful for information on corrections or omissions. Please see the notes for contributors below.


The British Institute of Organ Studies is most grateful to the following grant awarding and educational charities, corporate sponsors and friends who have generously supported the work of the NPOR. If you would like to join them in supporting our work and helping us to keep the NPOR available and up-to-date, please consider making a donation.


The British Academy (1992-1994)
The Manifold Trust (2002)
The Pilgrim Trust (1998, 2003, 2004)
The Thriplow Charitable Trust (1995,2000,2002)
Emmanuel College, Cambridge (2002,2005 and 2013)
Trinity College, Cambridge (2002)

Corporate Sponsors

Mander Organs
Harrison and Harrison Ltd.
David Wells Organbuilders Ltd.


Colin Fothergill
Alan Wood
Philip J Wells
Graham Jones
Alastair Macfadyen
Robert Bowles
Paul Ebling
John Norman
Tim Eyles
David & Althea Bridgeman-Sutton
Iain Stinson
David Force
Ian Smith
Nigel Browne
Mary Saunders
Gary Rant
Gordon Curtis
Kenneth Gray
Alastair Johnston
Anthony Yearsley
The Organ Club
John Jones
Anthony Percival (Christ Church, Ipswich Recital)
Alastair Disley
Martin Payne
Anthony Crook

David Pether
Jose Hopkins

Places, counties and grid references in the NPOR

The NPOR comprises surveys of pipe organs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Originally, addresses in the NPOR were based on the 1985 County boundaries, as defined in the Ordnance Survey Gazetteer. This caused much concern because of the disappearance of Rutland, the invention of Avon and Humberside and the very substantial changes in Wales and Scotland. Place are now primarily located by their Historic County which corresponds to the Ancient County from the 1891 census as defined in the Association of British Counties' gazetteer (see their website for a map of UK counties at this date, and for further information at Where the 1891 and 1985 counties differ, the 1985 county is shown in brackets. Each place is identified by its National Grid reference to a 1Km square. National Grid references are defined by a 2-letter pair (identifying a 100Km tile) followed by 2 digits for eastwards offset and 2 digits for northwards (e.g SP5008). Individual buildings are capable of being identified to the nearest 100m by 2 letters + 3 digits + 3 digits (e.g. SP 506 086). We would be happy to receive such grid references for individual buildings where you are sure the information is accurate. The Ordnance Survey Gazetteer and OS maps are used to verify the location of places before they are entered in the NPOR. The counties of Northern Ireland are identified by the Irish Grid Reference System, which is similar except that the 100km tiles are identified by a single letter. There being no gazetteer for Northern Ireland, the places have been identified from the Discoverer Series maps with the invaluable assistance of Alistair McCartney. All places in Northern Ireland have the same Historic County of Ulster. The Channel Islands lie outside any Grid Reference system, and use a dummy reference.

Notes for contributors

The NPOR continues to welcome contributions to the database but in order to enable the editors to process information as quickly and efficiently as possible, contributors are asked to note the following:

New surveys – information about instruments not currently listed on NPOR

Contributors should check the database carefully to ensure that the instrument in question is not listed, then complete the NPOR Survey Form which may be downloaded here as text and returned by email, or printed off as an rtf file and returned by post. Notes are included in the word doc file but are available separately here as text. Please be sure to include your name and full contact details.

Amendments to existing surveys         (These notes can be printed for ready reference)

Contributors are asked carefully to compare the information which they have with the NPOR survey in question, then list the changes as succinctly as possible in the following order:

Please note that the editors do not have the time or resources to follow up speculative information, and this will be accorded low priority.


Photographs (colour or black and white) may be submitted electronically, but these should be in JPEG format not exceeding 128 kilobytes in size and should always be clearly identified either by NPOR survey reference number or (in the case of new surveys) by building name and place. Close-up images of stop jambs, if clearly legible, are also welcomed to supplement written stop lists.

Care must be exercised when submitting illustrations from printed books or pictures from Websites. As a general rule, photographs from books and other printed matter published less than 70 years ago should not be submitted without the express written permission of the publisher. Prior permission should be obtained from the owners of Website photographs (Webmasters may be able to assist), and evidence of this should be forwarded to the NPOR Database Manager at the address below with your contribution.


It is very helpful if all email subject lines can include the survey number, where appropriate, and a brief indication of the building(s) concerned.


Information about additions or corrections should be sent to:

    Fao The NPOR Manager, 
    Royal College of Organists, 
    PO Box 56357 
    LONDON SE16 7XL.


For comments about software and internet presentation only contact:
Dr. M.D. Sayers ( e-Mail:


It costs money to run the NPOR, to process all the information which we receive and to keep the database up to date. If you use the NPOR and would like to help, please consider joining the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) and/or making a donation.

Privacy Policy

Statistics of use but not personal information may be recorded and used in applications to various bodies for financial support. We may also contact you occasionally in connection with your use of the NPOR.

Valid HTML 4.01!