Halo Panopticon Haslingden Reviews
Halo Sep 18, 2011
For a sculpture designed to be visible from two separate motorways, it is surprisingly hard to visit the Haslingden Halo Panopticon. It isn’t signposted from anywhere, and neither is Tip O’Slate, the park it is in. Although when you eventually put the grid reference into googlemaps, you can find your way to an entrance, there is no parking to be found unless you are disabled. I’m prepared to admit that I did not drive right around the site, so perhaps there is somewhere safe to put your car, but the only places I could see were people’s driveways (which is obviously unacceptable) or passing places (which would also make me a jerk). In the end, I ran the car up onto the grass and leapt a fence, hoping I wasn’t in anyone’s way.
Once up there, Tip O’Slate looks like an interesting little park and I would have gladly spent more time exploring if I had been parked legally, even with the icy rain. But I was a little worried about the car being crushed by an irate tractor so I had to hurry.
The halo is quite cool in daylight, and must be excellent after dark when it is lit by glowing blue lights, powered by a wind turbine on site. There are signs that point out sights on the horizon – nearby hills and worked out quarries, and how far different landmarks are. I could see as far as Manchester Airport, and I’m sure on a clear day the view is splendid.
Entrance is free, and given that there is disabled parking I am sure that access is fine from that point of view. This little park is just in urgent need of signposts, preferably to a strip of ground where you can leave a car, and friendlier access for everyone else. It isn’t as interesting as either of the other Panopticons I visited, being neither as nice as Colourfields in Blackburn nor as spooky or cool as the Singing Tree in Burnley. It is designed to be seen, rather than to see from, and I was unimpressed. Not worth the journey.
Part of the 2011 - UK Hometowns travel blog
Part of the list Art in the UK
Part of the list Manchester and the North West
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Part of the list Leave London!
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