Porters Lodge
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Porter’s Lodge - Open Gardens

The present owners of Porter’s Lodge open their gardens once a year in aid of The National Gardeners Scheme. This year more than 300 members of the public attended the opening (July 2000). The garden is surrounded by a mature wood in which two acres of walks and glades encircle and are linked into the inner garden formed from an acre of semi formal lawns and mixed borders.

folly.jpg (121904 bytes)The delightful inner garden is unusually designed as a series of interlocking spaces which are enlivened by fountains and ponds, statuary and architectural follies culminating in a pavilion which houses a unique water organ.

The working organ which stands in beautiful surroundings, backed by trees and reflected in water, took 2 years to complete. It was built by Rodney Briscoe of W.A. Boggis Organ Builders from Diss and inspired by a visit to the 16th century water gardens in Villa D’este, Italy. “This is thought to be the only working water organ in the country, if not the world” Source; Lionel Stirgess, owner.

The Workings of the Water Organ An electric pump takes the water to the roof where it falls freely over the led tiles into the guttering where it is channelled through a box to tumble over the water wheel. The water wheel is connected to a pulley and crankshaft which drives three bellows that pump air into the compressed air chamber. Form here the air is released in a controlled manner through the holes of a continuous folded card mask as it is fed through a key frame by a roller also powered by the water wheel. The escaping air is released into any of the 62 pipes these in turn are controlled by a further 4 keys, making 66 keys in total. There are two sets of cards providing a choice of six melodies written by Hayden originally for the clock organ and each melody lasts two minutes.


A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival ©2000 Designed by ArtAtac