Rare 250-year-old bassoon instrument made by Milhouse of Newark in 1700s discovered in church at St Mary's Church Carlton le Moorland and identified by experts at Newark College and Lincoln College Group
A very rare bassoon from the 1700s which laid untouched for decades has been re-discovered.
The woodwind instrument was found in a chest in the vestry of St Mary's Church in Carlton le Moorland by church warden Andrew Alsop.
Now it will return home, 250 years after it was believed to have been crafted in by Newark based instrument maker, Milhouse.
Andrew said: "One day I was going through a very old chest in the vestry and I found this bassoon in three pieces and I didn't know where it had come from and nobody else was able to really tell me.
"One or two people had said that they had seen it on a wall in the church 50 or 60 years ago.
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"So, I started making inquiries and luckily I made contact with Newark College who are going to help me.
“They have already identified the maker, and it was made in Newark 250 years ago!"
Patrick Abbott, course coordinator on the musical instrument craft degree programme at Newark College, said: “Recently, I was very excited to be sent some photographs of a bassoon.
“My initial research drew me to other instruments in existing museum collections that had very similar carving to the rather distinctive bell.
“It led me to believe quite quickly that this could be an instrument by a maker called Milhouse, who worked in Newark, which is very exciting.”
William Milhouse was a Newark born woodwind instrument maker, famous for his oboes and bassoons, and later became a manufacturer to their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Kent and Cumberland.
After seeing the instrument in person Patrick found ‘Milhouse Newark’ maker's marks on all the joints, meaning it could be very accurately dated to between 1763 and 1788.
He added: “I also find it really fascinating that we're running a specialist musical instruments crafts degree course here in Newark, and there's this history connecting us with this very famous maker who existed here such a long time ago.”
Patrick is continuing research into the Milhouse Newark bassoon.
The college’s specialised aims to create teach traditional crafts, and students who are able to repair a whole range of instruments.
On the course students are also required to make their own clarinet, and in recent years have also created oboes, flutes, bassoons and soprano saxophones all from basic raw materials.