The Singing Ringing Tree Panopticon

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Crown Point, Burnley, United Kingdom

The Singing Ringing Tree Panopticon Burnley Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
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Singing Sculpture Sep 18, 2011
The Singing, Ringing Tree is a large sound sculpture on a bleak expanse of moor above Burnley.  It is a tree made of pipes, that “sing” in the wind.  By “sing”, read emit a chorus of spooky noises rather like those made by metallic aliens in the better class of science fiction film.  It moans.  It hums.  It gives every impression of summoning Forces that Man Should Not Know Of.  Don’t blame me if the aliens arrive in Burnley.


Mind you, they’ll be puzzled if they do.  Because they will have to work out why they are being summoned to an empty patch of moorland above a landscape pocked with worked out quarries and the scars of industrial collapse. 


The reason is to do with regional pride, and an attempt to recast Pennine Lancashire as a hub for inward investment.  The Singing Ringing Tree is a Panopticon, which can mean “jail where you can see everyone” or can mean “place with a great view” – I assume it is the second meaning we’re going for here.  I am not convinced that the average factory owner chooses locations for industry based on spooky sounding statues on moors, but there is no denying that this is cool.  I think that if you are in the area, it is well worth the detour.  How often do you get to hear a giant metal tree sing?


There is an absolutely great view from up here, across the valley towards more hills and some windfarms which, once you get your imagination going, look pretty alien in their own right.  The moor looks like a great place for some walking, along the ridge, but it was really wet when I was there and I didn’t have hiking boots so skipped the chance.  I’m sure the wildlife is great up here. 


Entrance and parking is free.  Accessibility to the tree is along a footpath and I think it would be possible with a push chair, but there is a steep hill to be aware of on the way there.  It’s a short walk and most children should manage.  It’s a pain to find – head for Burnley golf course and follow the brown signs marked “Tree Panopticon.”
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