St Bartholomew's Church, Lower Basildon, Berkshire

Address:
Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire, RG8 9NH
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Opening times:
Open daily
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A church built by the people, for the people

This striking flint-and-brick 700-year-old church stands in a pretty churchyard shaded by fine trees near a beautiful stretch of the Thames.

It is filled with memorials to past parishioners and, in early spring, a host of daffodils. Jethro Tull, the father of modern farming, has a memorial here (although the whereabouts of his grave is unknown) and there is a moving marble statue of two young brothers in swimming trunks who drowned in the Thames in 1886.

The church itself is simple and serene. The nave and south door were built in the thirteenth century, while the ornate roof timbers were installed in the fifteenth century, when parishioners grew rich from the local wool and corn trade.

Inside, there are several stunning memorials, including brass effigies of John Clerk and his wife Lucie, both in medieval costume. The nineteenth-century memorial for Sir Francis Sykes has a statue of a woman weeping by John Flaxman, famous for his Wedgewood designs.

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