On Wednesday 2nd September, Ian Anderson – founder member of prog-rock band Jethro Tull – went to St Bartholomew’s Church in Lower Basildon, near Pangbourne, to visit a memorial of the band’s namesake, who is buried at the church.
18th century agriculturalist Jethro Tull is celebrated as the father of modern farming, and is famous for perfecting the horse drawn seed drill in 1701. Tull is the subject of Ian Anderson’s new project, Jethro Tull: A Rock Opera, that features songs from the band’s back catalogue, reimagining the agriculturist’s life in the near future.
St Bartholomew’s Church is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.
Prior to Anderson’s visit, Crispin Truman, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust, explained:
‘Each of the 347 churches that The Churches Conservation Trust cares for has their own story to tell. I’m delighted to welcome Ian Anderson to 700 year old St Bartholomew’s where Jethro Tull – who revolutionised modern agriculture – is commemorated. Personally I’m also a bit of a fan of ‘the Tull’ so can’t wait to share this and other stories with Ian!’
Volunteer with The Churches Conservation Trust, Zoe Pike, is currently developing a scheme of interpretation for St Bartholomew’s that will allow visitors to learn more about Tull’s life and his connections with the church and local area. Additional volunteer support is needed in researching, marketing and planning this project. Anyone interested should contact Ed McGregor, The CCT’s Volunteering Officer.
St Bartholomew’s is open to visitors daily between 9am and 5pm. It is a venue for regular community events, including the upcoming Harvest Evensong and Hog Roast on Sunday 4th October at 6pm.
For more about Ian Anderson’s current Jethro Tull: A Rock Opera tour visit RAMzine by clicking here.