Cannington Tree Bell, Somerset

Objects from Cannington, Somerset

Cannington is an old Saxon village, with medieval manors mentioned in the Domesday Book, an old walled botanical garden in the centre of the village next to a beautiful church and convent. Cottages and new houses surround the farms and fields rolling up to the Quantock Hills and down the River Parrett to the sea. Above the village, on a hill with a wood, is the site of an ancient iron age fort where many graves were found, it is thought it might have originally been a Pagan cemetery. The hill is now quarried. Lower down, where the new bypass has been built for workers and trucks to get to Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, evidence was found of a bronze age settlement and Roman buildings.

The house that Caroline grew up in is by a brook where children play in the water on hot and sunny days. Caroline‚Äôs Dad was the local Policeman, Parish Councillor and Church Warden and was deeply embedded  the local community. Caroline and Rachel have been visiting the local school where Caroline talks about her connections with Cannington and the importance of the community within the village. When she was a girl Caroline was involved in many community projects with her Dad. One of these projects included creating a new sports field in the village to bring people together. Caroline planted a tree in the sports field when she was 12 and has been visiting the tree forty years later as part of her ‘significant tree’ project.

Caroline’s ‘Significant Trees’ projects involve recording data from trees, relating trees to movement, rhythms and frequencies. As part of these projects Caroline has collected stories from the public, cast tree fruit in bronze and made works with handbells tuned to different tree frequencies. Caroline has worked with John Taylor Bell Foundry to cast a handbell tuned to the frequency of the tree which she planted in Cannington when she was 12. 

The Cannington Tree Bell was introduced to the Cannington school children as part of workshop activities last summer. We talked about using the bell to ‘make a noise about the climate emergency’ and the old tradition of the town crier, a person who is employed by a town council to make public announcements in the streets. This year each class will be writing their own tree cries and will be dressing in the tree crier costume to perform their own thoughts about trees, climate and their community.

Caroline Locke

Find out more about when Future Machine Appears In Cannington – When The Newly Planted Trees Have Abundant Green Leaves.

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