Thieveley Pike and the Singing Ringing Tree


A short but interesting walk in the South Pennines just south of Burnley. The walk visits the unique sculpture, The Singing Ringing Tree, before following the Burnley Way footpath to Deerplay Moor and the summit of Thieveley Pike.

Route Information

Ascent: 302m

Length: 5.82 miles

Start: Crown Point Road

Area: Lancashire – Southern Pennines

GPX File: Download

Thieveley Pike – (Height: 449m, Drop: 56m)
White Hill – (Height: 389m, Drop: 35m)

Other POI: Crown Point, Singing Ringing Tree, Dixon Hill, Heyne Farm, Bacup Road, Dyneley Farm, StoneHouse Farm, Scout Farm, Monks House Ride, Buckley Wood, Dean Scout, Cliviger Gorge, Thieveley Scout, Thieveley Farm Ruins, Beacon Rock, Deerplay Moor, Black Clough, Heald Quarry, Dunnockshaw Community Woodland, Clough Bottom Reservoir

Route Description:

Me and the kids were up in Lancashire for the day visiting relatives, and so I thought it would be a good idea to squeeze a short walk in beforehand. Normally we’d head off to Pendle Hill, but this time I decided to do something a little different. I consulted the map and picked out a little area just south of Burnley that looked interesting. I devised a small 6 mile route that incorporated two summits named Thieveley Pike and White Hill, and an outdoor sculpture called the Singing Ringing Tree.

We parked at the car park on Crown Point Road, which was quite high up and offered a great viewpoint without even having to get out of the car. There was a clear easy path from here to to the Singing Ringing Tree, which was visible in the distance. Now you’re probably wondering what on earth this Singing Ringining Tree actually is? My kids were too when I kept telling them we were going there. In fact, I don’t think they even believed me and thought I was talking a load of old bollocks. They were quite right to suspect this as I do have an annoying habit of making silly stuff up to see what kind of rubbish I can get them to believe.

The path from the car park
Path from the car park. The Singing Ringing Tree just visible beyond
Continuing down the path
Continuing down the path

The Singing Ringing Tree is one of four Panopticons in East Lancashire. And a Panopticon is?? Well, in this case, it’s basically a sculpture providing a comprehensive view, commissioned by East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network as part of an arts and regeneration project. Four large scale sculptures were made and placed in the districts of Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle, and Rossendale, and were supposedly symbols of the renaissance of the area.

The Singing Ringing Tree is the Panopticon for the Burnley district, and is a musical sculpture made from pipes of galvanised steel that harness the energy of the wind in order to produce its sound. The sculpture is around 3 metres tall and is designed to resemble a tree. Enough talk – here’s a picture of it:

The Singing Ringing Tree
The Singing Ringing Tree in all its glory!

From the tree, we gradually descended across rugged farmland on Dixon Hill until eventually reaching the farm track at Heyne Farm. This brought us out onto Bacup Road which we then followed for a brief period before turning off down a bridleway. We were now on the official route for the long distance footpath – The Burnley Way. The footpath is 40 miles long and, as the name suggests, circles the area of Burnley taking in some of the fantastic countryside and varied terrain that the area has to offer. The route was devised in 1993 by the Civic Trust and Burnley Council’s Planning and Environment team.

On our way down Dixon Hill
On our way down Dixon Hill
On Bacup Road
Walking along Bacup Road

The track continued without any complications past Dyneley Farm, StoneHouse Farm, and Scout Farm. The yard at Scout Farm contained a couple of aggressive looking, snarling, foaming at the mouth dogs which, thankfully, were behind the gates and on a chain. I still nervously looked back over my shoulder for a while just in case they somehow broke loose.

Walking along the Burnley Way
Walking along the Burnley Way footpath
Remains of a farm building at Stonehouse Farm
Remains of a farm building at Stonehouse Farm

The route eventually took a sharp turn to the right and ascended the hillside of Thieveley Pike and Deerplay Moor. The footpath, according to the maps, is named Monks House Ride and initially skirts around Buckley Wood before crossing Dean Scout where it’s certainly worth stopping to admire the scenery. There were some fantastic views looking out over Cliviger Gorge, with the exposed Namurian rocks flanking it on the right on Thieveley Scout. Also of note around us were the remains of Thieveley Farm, and evidence of the Galena mining activity back in the 1700’s in the form of bell pits and spoil heaps. Slightly higher up is the prominent sandstone outcrop named Beacon Rock.

Turning onto the Monks House Ride footpath
Turning onto the Monks House Ride footpath
Looking into Cliviger Gorge, with Thievely Scout on the right
Looking into Cliviger Gorge, with Thievely Scout on the right
Luke enjoying the view - Pendle Hill visible in the background
Luke enjoying the view – Pendle Hill visible in the background

After looking around, we continued uphill until eventually we arrived at the trig pillar on top of Thieveley Pike. The view looking back towards Cliviger was beautiful and looking slightly more to the north, Pendle Hill was also visible in the distance – looking grand as always. Thieveley Pike is the site of an ancient warning beacon that was lit during a national emergency, something I wasn’t aware of whilst I was up there but it does make perfect sense. At this point, we left the Burnley Way as it headed south-east towards Heald Moor. We instead headed in the opposite direction across Deerplay Moor and towards the Burnley Road, Bacup Road junction, crossing the top of Black Clough on the way. As we approached the final slope down to the road, we had a great view across Eaden Clough to Heald Quarry – or at least I think it was Heald Quarry. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!

Kids doing 'The Dab' on Thieveley Pike summit
Kids doing ‘The Dab’ on Thieveley Pike summit
Me and Luke at the trig pillar
Me and Luke at the trig pillar
Heading across Deerplay Moor - The quarry is in the background to the right
Heading across Deerplay Moor – The quarry is in the background to the right

Once back on Crown Point Road and on our way back to the car park, we made a small diversion into Dunnockshaw Community Woodland so that we could bag our second summit of the day – White Hill. It’s not the most spectacular of hills by any means – more of a mound, however I thought it would be a shame to miss it as it was so close. The summit is reached quickly and is identifiable by a pond, with the highest point being just on its bank on the other side. We had a quick gaze at the view down towards Clough Bottom Reservoir before circling back to the road and the car park through a plantation of small pine trees of the Christmas Tree variety.

The unexciting summit of White Hill
The unexciting summit of White Hill
Crossing at a stile
Crossing at a stile
Heading back via a plantation of pine trees
Heading back via a plantation of pine trees

It was only a short walk in terms of mileage, but there was plenty to see and admire. It would be great to return again in the near future to explore the area some more.

Walk completed on 6th April, 2017

Map and Elevation Data:

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Interactive Map
Elevation Profile for the Thieveley Pike walk walk
Elevation Profile

Useful Links

GPX file for the walk
Photo album on Flickr
The Burnley Way – Visit Lancashire
The Singing Ringing Tree – Mid Pennine Arts
Panopticons – Mid Pennine Arts

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  1. Clare Williams says

    That singing ringing tree looks ace. Clearly dab-worthy.
    Ever one to geek things up I just checked the geocaching website and sure enough the singing ringing tree has its own cache. Even better, on your route there’s a cache which requires going underground and a visit to an underground waterfall (I’d imagine that’s a loose interpretation of terms but it does look cool.). Obviously now I NEED to visit.

    1. Hill Explorer says

      Well you’re making me feel like I missed out now! Any caches on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks route?

      1. Clare Williams says

        I’ve yet to overlay my maps but it looks fairly promising for caches. Just having a look for any exciting caches in the area, we lack the terrain for exciting caches in these parts but Yorkshire should have a few gems.

        1. Hill Explorer says

          Excellent – then you can show me what it’s all about and what I’m missing!

  2. Kidsofthewild says

    Looks like a great day out and I love that tree sculpture.

    1. Hill Explorer says

      Hey, thanks for commenting! I’ll be seeing another ‘panopticon’ when I’m back up there in June – there’s one right at the beginning of the Pendle Way route I’m doing called ‘The Atom’. I was glad to read that that things are looking positive at your end too.

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