This little terraced house seems ordinary outside. But has an enormous musical surprise…

5 March 2021, 14:27

This little terraced house seems ordinary outside. But has an enormous musical surprise…
This little terraced house seems ordinary outside. But has an enormous musical surprise…. Picture: Rightmove

By Kyle Macdonald

Fancy playing a Bach fugue before bath and bed? This is the house for you.

A Bristol house, recently advertised on the real estate site Rightmove, might look modest and charming from the outside. But it holds a not-so-quiet musical secret.

Embedded, literally within the walls of the slightly pokey four-bedroom terraced dwelling, is the grandest instrument of them all: a full pipe organ.

It stands complete with console, pedalboard, piping, bellows and the loud pipes themselves.

Read more: Take a look inside Mozart’s £7.5m London townhouse >

Clifton Wood Crescent has a gorgeous built-in pipe organ
Clifton Wood Crescent has a gorgeous built-in pipe organ. Picture: Rightmove

The two-manual organ console is positioned to the side of the stairs in the house, with the sounding pipes placed throughout the stairwell and running through walls, glancing into bedrooms.

It’s all constructed with detail and care worthy of an elegant Victorian church.

The organ belonged to a musician named Joan, whose husband built it for her
The organ belonged to a musician named Joan, whose husband built it for her. Picture: Rightmove

The listing was shared on Twitter by the young Cambridge organist and conductor Anna Lapwood. Following her tweet about it, a neighbour of the musical house got in touch with Anna to fill in some key parts of the story. And it’s wonderful.

Anna says she learned the house belonged to a musician named Joan. She died a year ago, just before her 99th birthday.

She was the organist at a local church and her husband had built the organ so that she could practise at home.

Joan used to play it quietly so as not to disturb her student neighbours
Joan used to play it quietly so as not to disturb her student neighbours. Picture: Rightmove

Their neighbours were students apparently, and Joan always made sure not to play too loudly or late at night so that it wouldn’t disturb their studies.

“We love Joan,” said Anna, as she shared the story.

The younger organist also took to TikTok to share the story of the terraced-house organist.

If you fancy pondering the other rooms in which you can enjoy your own private organ concert, have a look at more photos of the house here.

Young organist, and aspiring musical real estate sleuth, Anna Lapwood is one of the country’s finest church musicians. Lapwood has been named as one of 30 classical music ‘Rising Stars’ chosen by legendary cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd Webber for his new Classic FM series.

You can listen and find out more about Anna, and a host of other incredibly talented young performers, by listening to Julian Lloyd Webber’s Rising Stars on Global Player.

To play us out, here’s Anna with some Bach. It’s not on the house organ but rather the instrument of Pembroke College, Cambridge, where she is Director of Music.