Singing Ringing Tree named as top UK landmark

Photo of the Week: Singing Ringing Tree - Crown Point, Burnley - Stephen Root
Photo of the Week: Singing Ringing Tree - Crown Point, Burnley - Stephen Root

Burnley’s iconic “Singing Ringing Tree” sculpture has been sounded out as a top British landmark.

The panopticon creation, which sits on the moors above Crown Point, was singled out by leading architects and designers as being among the 21 landmarks that define Britain in the 21st century.

It was included alongside such eminent designs as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Angel of the North and Blackpool Tower.

Such was the level of competition, many of the nation’s most cherished and renowned buildings failed to make the list including York Minster, the Shard skyscraper in London and Highclere Castle, the setting of television’s “Downton Abbey”.

The Independent newspaper, in partnership with the British Airways High Life magazine, invited the public to nominate the landmarks that most enrich the nation today.

The final top 21 landmarks were then selected by a panel of expert judges that included Stephen Hodder, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

It’s just beautifully elegant and it’s ingenious and it sings!

Stephen Hodder, president of Royal Institute of British Architects

He said: “The Singing Ringing Tree is one part of a sequence of objects. It’s just beautifully elegant and it’s ingenious and it sings!”

The Mid Pennine Arts group had urged the public to vote for the Singing Ringing Tree, a three-metre-tall, wind-powered steel sculpture completed in 2006 as part of its Panopticons series.

Creative director Nick Hunt said: “We are absolutely thrilled that our brilliant, pint-sized, low-cost landmark has been recognised alongside all those familiar, major icons of modern Britain.

“We conceived the Panopticons as ‘new landmarks for the 21st century’ and they continue to pay real dividends, thanks to all our partners who had the courage and vision to invest in art and creativity.”

Burnley Council leader Coun. Mark Townsend said: “The Singing Ringing Tree has really put Burnley on the map, not just nationally but across the world.

“It’s attracted more than four million views on YouTube and international visitors have beaten a path up the moors to find out more about it. It’s exceeded expectations in every way in the nine years since it was installed above the town.

“There is something about the cutting edge design and use of the steel pipes that make the Singing Ringing Tree such an iconic piece of public art that has captured the public’s imagination.

“I’d encourage anyone to come to see the Singing Ringing Tree.”