Panopticons - Singing Ringing Tree


Project Information

Enjoy a panoramic view from the Singing, Ringing Tree here

Designed by:
Architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu.

Wayside Arts Trail - Walk Leaflet:

Download the leaflet which covers a countryside walk from Towneley up to Crown Point, discovering the art along the trail.

(Please note that this leaflet was produced by Burnley Borough Council in 2005 and might be out of date. We suggest you check with Burnley's Parks & Open Spaces Department (01282 425011) about any changes before setting out. As at March 2014 we are aware that part of the walk is obstructed and will be for about six months.)


Plan Your Visit

Plan your visit

From the M65 J9 take the turning off the roundabout signposted to Burnley - At the next roundabout take the first exit and stay in the right-hand lane - At the traffic lights turn right (NB It looks more like a fork in the road than a right-hand turn) - At the next roundabout take the exit signposted A682 Rawtenstall - the turning for Crown Point is on the left directly opposite The Aoska Restaurant, the last building on your right as you leave Burnley- The Singing Rigning Tree is signposted with a brown tourist sign marked 'Tree Panopticon'. Follow the road until you come to the car park where a gravel path leads you to the Panopticon.

Singing Ringing Tree: Explorer OL12 South Pennines, 1:25 000 scale. Grid ref 848287

Project location
Click on the marker for Journey planning

Additional Information

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Wayside Arts Trail - Walk Leaflet:

Download this leaflet which covers a countryside walk from Towneley up to Crown Point, discovering the art along the trail.

Panopticons - Singing Ringing Tree

Panopticon - Singing, Ringing Tree high on the moors overlooking Burnley.

The Singing Ringing Tree is aptly named. A 3-meter-tall, wind-powered musical sculpture made of galvanized steel pipes, it stands high above the English town of Burnley. The pipes swirl to form the shape of a tree bent and blown by the wind, and produce an eerie, melodious hum as the constant wind on Crown Point drifts through them. The Singing Ringing Tree's pipes are used for both aesthetic qualities as well as for tuning, with their sound varied according to length and added narrow slits on the underside of specific pipes. The sound produced by these twisted metal trees covers several octaves and is said to be simultaneously discordant and melancholy, and intensely beautiful.

Completed in 2006, the Tree was designed by award-winning architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu. The site at Burnley was once that of a re-diffusion transmission station, complete with a run-down brick building and unused telegraph lines. The station was dismantled and the lines cut down to be recycled, to make way for the Tree that was to stand out against the stark, rolling landscape of the Pennines.

In 2007, the sculpture won the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence.

View the video about the Singing Ringing Tree, top right hand corner of this page, above the photographs.

Singing Ringing Tree Storytelling Competition

As part of the Land project (2003-2007), a unique education and creative arts project run alongside and in partnership with Panopticons, we organised a storytelling competition for students in collaboration with the Burnley Express.  The subject was the Singing Ringing Tree and the entrants devised some very imaginative tales!  You can read the winning and highly commended stories here:  18+ age group; 7-17 age group.

Duet No.1 for Synthesizer and The Singing Ringing Tree

 John Kesson,originally from the UK, but currently based in Minneapolis, is a musician, composer and sound artist exploring the synesthetic relationships between auditory and optical landscapes.  This series of blogs documents his five day recording session and performance series at the Singing Ringing Tree.