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Humanities - In the spotlight

Using the future to discover the past

Using the future to discover the past

Students hungry for secrets of the past can now take "techno-trails" through history to uncover further clues.

English Heritage is unveiling a series of high-tech trails at its landmark properties and monuments this autumn, where students and teachers - using handheld GPS devices to discover hidden "treasure boxes" (caches) - will be set tasks aimed at stimulating their interest in the past and the way in which it connects to the future.

Projects are already running at Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, and Witley Court in Worcestershire. Similar schemes will open at Dover Castle and Deal Castle in Kent by the end of this month, and by the end of the year the scheme's showpiece - "geosong" at Ironbridge Gorge - will have a trail featuring modern folk ballads to celebrate the lives of those who created the birthplace of the industrial revolution.

The process is called "geocaching", which has apparently become a popular hobby.

For information on how to book school tours, see


English Heritage has shared a wealth of material for discovering new historical sites around Britain - find them - and other resources - at


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