Sunday, 13 July 2014

Singing ringing tree

I'm glad you liked the walk up Rivington Pike. For our next day out I really wanted to visit the Singing Ringing Tree over in Burnley, having seen a few photos of it in tourist leaflets. More on that later though as first, we (me, Chickpea and her boyfriend) headed for Towneley Hall.

Towneley Hall is Burnley's museum and art gallery. The Hall dates from the 14th century and is set in 400 acres of parkland.

After lunch in the cafe, we headed into the Hall.

I didn't take many photos inside so these just give an idea of what we saw. This room, the Red Regency room, is used for civil weddings.

In the art gallery I was really interested to see The Chandelier of Lost Earrings. It started as an arts engagement project at St Mary's maternity unit in Manchester and contains 3500 donated earrings and other jewellery. People who donated also included a note about the personal significance of the earring. We didn't see the notes but it was fascinating looking at all the donated items. There's a facebook site which will give details of where it will travel to next if you'd like to see it. The artists are also planning an American version.

After the gallery, we set off into the park to follow part of the Wayside Arts Trail (leaflet here). The full trail takes you on an 8 mile circular route up to the Singing Ringing Tree "suitable only for fit walkers". Hmm, not us then, so we did a shorter 3 mile loop. The first part takes you through the Hall grounds past Boggart Bridge.

No mischievous boggarts in the woods today but we did see several curious squirrels.

From the Hall grounds, we crossed the main road to continue the trail through woodland and fields.

There are wooden sculptures and marker posts every so often. Not enough for us though as we did get a bit confused in places about which way to go. We also completely failed to spot the brick kiln sculpture - something for another time then.

We did enjoy it though and it was just a long enough walk to stretch our legs before our final destination.

Back into the car to drive up to Crown Point.

Walking from the car park at Crown Point, we came across this decorated cairn.

And look, it's the Singing Ringing Tree!

The Tree is one of several Panopticons around Lancashire: a panopticon being a 'structure, space or device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view'. It was designed by architects Tonkin Liu to resemble a windblown hawthorn tree. It was definitely windy on top of that hill!

As you approach, you begin to hear the strange, eery, moaning sounds made by the tree: not singing or ringing at all. I read somewhere that it's more like the sound made when you blow across the mouth of a bottle and that's a good analogy. If you'd like to hear it for yourself, try this video on YouTube. My own videos sounded like we were caught in a hurricane!

The Tree is made up of galvanised steel pipes. There are different sizes and some of the pipes have narrow slits cut into them to create different tones.

As you'd expect, there are gorgeous views from up here.

Also at Crown Point is Dunnockshaw Memorial Forest where family members can plant a tree to remember a loved one. This one caught my eye: Dorothy and Douglas' family certainly chose a beautiful spot to remember them.


Today is my last day of leave so it's back to work tomorrow :-(

It's been a lovely relaxing time with lots of fresh air and sunshine: I've been really blessed with the weather. I have several more day trips to tell you about but will probably intersperse them with other posts. I'll leave you with this red admiral who has been sat on my fence for most of the afternoon. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. x

My Blogiversary giveaway is still open if you're interested. Closing date is 25 July.


  1. Such gorgeous photos Julie and looks like a great day out. I would love to visit the singing ringing tree! I loved the photo of the squirrel, it looks very curious indeed. Glad you have enjoyed your annual leave and hope you settle back into work okay tomorrow.
    Marianne x

  2. What a great day!! The hall looks beautiful in terms of the building and the grounds, especially the moss covered bridge, how delightful is that. I had not heard of the singing ringing tree, but it does indeed look just like a windblown tree that could stand in a location like that doesn't it. The cairn is amazing with the carved pieces in it too, I have never seen one like that before! I hope that the return to work isn't too bad! xx

  3. Everything is wonderful - I love love love the old buildings - what treasures. And the photo of the sheep on the hill - fabulous! I love listening to the ringing singing tree - it sounds like souls come back to "speak" to us.

  4. Such amazing shots of a gorgeous day. I love the idea of the ringing singing tree. I enjoyed walking with you from the comfort of my chair :-) I hope you are enjoying being back at work, it's hard for the first day isn't it. Take care. Chel

  5. A great day out, I have the singing ringing tree on my 'list', Dave's dad lives near Clitheroe so we go that way sometimes and one day I want to make a stop at the S.R.tree. Thanks for the suggestions for Bolton, I don't know if I'll have reason to head that way again for a while but I didn't dislike it at all, it was just me not being prepared really, I hadn't researched, the info centre we went to was closed and without knowledge of the area and footpaths, it just wasn't inviting enough! I'm sure there are loads of great places around there and will refer back to the suggestions in comments if I head that way again.

  6. What a great post , you have visited some lovely places, would go to them all my self.
    Amanda xxx

  7. So at least one of us is getting somewhere on their places to see around the area. Haven't gotten to any of mine as of yet! Hopefully this Sunday I will get to one. Just think I can revisit these posts when the time comes to see you again.

  8. Thank you *so much* for sharing your trip! Such a beautiful place, and that tree is simply awesome, fascinating and beautiful. I would make the trip just to see it! What a beautiful time you had! Chrissie x

  9. Wow! I feel like I've just learnt something here! I'd never heard of a panopticon before, and it must be wonderful to be up there with the wind, looking at the views. The tree is incredible, both interesting and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your staycation adventures with us Julie. xx