The Singing Ringing Tree


Yesterday I met my friend Ann at The Singing Ringing Tree. I had read about this sculpture or Panopticon, just over the border in Lancashire, in one of those magazines that you find in the pocket of your airline seat. It sounded fascinating. And indeed I can now say that it sounds fascinating too. The wind blows through the open pipes and amazingly creates music when you get close up to it (it’s a few 100 metres from the blustery car park).

Burnley’s Panopticon, ‘Singing Ringing Tree’, is a unique musical sculpture which overlooks Burnley from its position high above the town on Crown Point.

Constructed from pipes of galvanised steel stacked in layers, this Panopticon takes the form of a tree bending to the winds and harnesses the energy of those winds to produce a low, tuneful song. In June 2007, Singing Ringing Tree was named winner of a National Award for architectural excellence by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).



The site offers a spectacular panorama of East Lancashire: to the north, a wonderful view of Pendle Hill; to the east, a glimpse of the Cliviger wind turbines on the Yorkshire border; and in between, a panoramic overview of the town of Burnley, with the famous Turf Moor football stadium at its centre. On a clear day you can see the Bowland Fells, Pendle, Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent and Great Whernside.” [source]


View over Burnley

There are 3 other Panopticons in the area and years ago I came across the one (Atom) at Wycoller, by chance on a walk.

Find out more about the Panopticons here.

From the windy heights above Burnley we drove a few miles north to Gawthorpe Hall the lovely NT property which was the former home of the Kay-Shuttleworths. Here the life of Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth (1886-1967) was being celebrated with new galleries and textile displays. I wrote about a previous visit here.


Gawthorpe Hall, near Padiham, Lancashire






6 comments on “The Singing Ringing Tree

  1. Tuba says:

    Looks quite magical !

  2. Sarah Wrightson says:

    Yes, quite magical and fascinating.

    • An unusual sculpture that I would never have known about had I not the read magazine article. And almost on my doorstep. Ideal location to meet a Cheshire friend.

  3. My, you do get around – this time just a few miles away from me. Brilliant, isn’t it, on a breezy day?

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