Despite being a Lancashire lass born and bred, the East Lancashire Panopticons have totally passed me by. Until very recently that is, when Richard’s post ‘ Its Grim Up North’ ( honestly it’s not that bad ! 😉 ) , brought Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree to my attention. Ever since I have been very keen to visit this amazing structure and its fellow Panopticons. Panopticons. Panopticons. I love that word! 🙂
On the Mid Pennine Arts Website I found this description of a Panopticon.
Panopticon ( noun) Structure, Space or Device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.
East Lancashire is home to 4 such sculptures and on Saturday Wil, Hugo and I managed to hunt down two of them. Thankfully it wasn’t a bad day weather wise ( unlike Richard’s experience) and my home county was bathed in sunshine. 🙂
First we drove to the town of Rawtenstall in Rossendale and parked at The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery on Haslingden rd. The museum is set in a pretty park and car parking is free. There is a cafe and a bar in The Whitaker and a children’s playground in the park. Therefore it is a great place to start and finish a walk up to The Halo Panopticon on Top O Slate , in the hills above Haslingden.
It didn’t take to long to find The Halo , an 18 metre diameter steel structure , supported on a tripod. It definitely resembles a Flying Saucer don’t you think ??
In daylight this Panopticon is the perfect vantage point for admiring the panoramic views over Rossendale. But it is when darkness falls that The Halo really stands out. The structure lights up at night and it’s blue glow gives the impression that it’s hovering over the valley. Maybe it does get mistaken for a UFO. 🙂 Check out haslingdenhalo.co.uk for more images.
After our spaceship discovery we walked into Rawtenstall , had a nosy around the shops and enjoyed some refreshments at Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar & Emporium. Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar on Bank Street has been serving Lancashire folks alcohol free tipples since 1890. In fact it is England’s only remaining original temperance bar ! Having recently been refurbished, Fitzpatricks now sells delicious cakes, icecreams, floats, coffee & tea , as well as its famed vintage cordials.
We sat outside with a couple of hot cordials. Wil had a Blood Tonic and Orange and I had a Lemon & Ginger cordial. Of course we had to sample some cakes as well. 🙂
These lovely Temperance Bar goodies set us up for our next Panopticon. The Singing Ringing Tree is situated about 15 minutes drive from Rawtenstall at Crown Point above the town of Burnley. Taking the form of a tree bending in the wind, this unusual musical sculpture is made from galvanised metal tubes. The wind whistleing through them creates a humming sound, as though the tree is singing. 🙂
We were treated to a harmonious wailing up there in the Pennine landcape,which I find hard to describe. Think a cross between angels singing in old black & white movies…and a pack of howling dogs. Hugo was most intrigued..
With far reaching views over the urban sprawl of Burnley and to the hills beyond ,this Panopticon gives the town dwellers and visitors a new appreciation of the surrounding countryside……as well as its own personal backing track. 🙂
So thats two East Lancashire Panopticons bagged and two more to go, the others being Colourfields in Blackburn and The Atom in Wycollar Country Park. My Panopticon Quest continues….. 🙂
Have you visited any ?
Which is your favourite Panopticon?