We all walk in the footsteps of people who have gone before us, what we see around us may or may not be what they saw, everything changes. Old photographs present us with evidence of change.  Many people find it fascinating to compare and contrast an old photograph of a building with what we can see today.  The photograph does not have to be very old for there to be differences, maybe the colour of the paint has changed or the windows are different, or perhaps a whole new wing has been added or taken away.  


Church buildings are wonderful buildings to explore in this way.  In medieval times cathedral builders built in the latest style; buttresses, window shapes and window tracery can all give clues to the age of a building. Windows especially offer clues to the date of a building so why not challenge yourself to date a church in this way.  Download and refer to our windows timeline - but remember - the Victorians may have rebuilt in a particular style!


Heritage Detectives out on a quest to discover what there is to see on their trail that Arthur and his friends might recognise may be given an old photo as a clue.  Their task will be to spot the image today, make comparisons with the photographic image to spot the changes and then decide if Arthur would recognise it. They will 'wonder' about it, this is what we mean by a 'wonder point.'  As detectives become more proficient they will no longer need a trail to discover 'wonder points'. In time it will become second nature to stop at an interesting place and wonder "Could Arthur have seen this?


Here are some questions you might ask while looking at a wonder point:



Wonder points are just that, they invite us to stop and wonder or think about them. We might want to know more about them  - What are they? What are they made of?  Who built them?  Who used them?When were they made or used?  All sorts of questions may come to you.  


Heritage Detectives out on a Quest are always asking themselves "Would Arthur recognise this?" Just looking at a wonder point may not be enough to decide if he would so there will probably be some more 'finding out' to do. The heritage knights want heritage detectives to make wonder cards for their wonder points so that they can put them on their timelines and discover for themselves if they have found something that Arthur might recognise.  Something may look old to a young detective and you may know instinctively that it is not old enough - indulge their interest and enthusiasm, it really does not matter whether they are right or wrong the important thing is that they develop the skill to be able to test their ideas and they can do this with wonder cards and timelines.



Wonder cards are little information cards with a picture on one side and information on the other. Heritage detectives put wonder cards onto their timelines to see whether Arthur will recognise their wonder point.


The heritage detective will need to create the information that goes on the back of a wonder card and they must sure they have a good picture to go on the front so it is important for them to gather as much information as possible while they have their wonder point in front of them.  This means making notes and taking photographs, measurements and drawings and also recording the location of the wonder points they they and someone else in the future can find it.  Heritage detectives need to work together on these tasks. We suggest you ask yourselves some wondering questions like these: remember that the heritage knights believe that there are stories in the very stones so your job is to listen to what your wonder point is telling you:


Wonder what your wonder point is saying to your eyes?

Perhaps it is saying that it is very old and you might ask how old.

Wonder what your wonder point is saying to your ears?

Perhaps it is saying that it makes a particular sort of noise and you might try to describe the noise.

Wonder what your wonder point is saying to your nose?

Perhaps it is saying that it doesn't smell very nice and you might ask why!

Wonder what your wonder point is saying to your hands?

Perhaps it is saying that it has a shiny surface or that it is cracked and broken and you might try to find out what has happened to it.

Wonder what your wonder point is saying to your mouth?

You may decide that it is best not to taste it!



Can you answer these questions before you leave the site?

What is it?  When was it made?  Would Arthur recognise it?


If you can't answer them then you will have some work to do at home before you will be able to complete your wonder card.  Click here for instructions for making wonder cards.



Wonder cards can be uses in many different ways to help young heritage detectives develop their detective skills. Here are some examples:

  •  They may be given just one side of a card - perhaps the picture to spot and record.  This requires looking, matching and recording skills.  
  • They may be asked to create a complete wonder card from a election of backs and front - this will use reading and pondering skills. 




The simplest quests to organise are the ones that you create yourself.  Once you have the skills you can quest just about everywhere you go, you just keep asking the question - Could Arthur have seen/eaten/touched/heard this?


Of course everyone who knows Arthur knows that his friend Merlin always answered one question with another question, thats just what we expect heritage detectives to do.  When you think you know the answer to the first question we ask you a second question - How do you know?


That's where the fun comes in and the answers are not always straight forward, sometimes you might even have to answer this question with

We think this is the answer, but we are not sure, because....



Heritage detectives know how to use detectives tools:

They understand that things are always changing and know how to use pictures and old photos to work out what is different and what is the same. 

They can spot wonder points and make wonder cards,

They know about timelines and how to use them to work out if Arthur would recognise something.

They can develop stories around moments in time.


When they go out on a quest they carry with them the tools of the trade, their camera, binoculars, a notepad and pencil even a magnifying glass. When the discover a wonder point they take a picture and make careful notes about what they can see and its location, they may even note the time of the day. 


Then when they get back to their base they continue with the detective work until they have enough information to complete the back of a wonder card.  Whether they talk to people, read books or even do an internet search good heritage detectives will be listening for information that will fix their search in time as well as space, then they will be able to place a completed wonder card on the timeline!

Anyone can be a heritage detective


Out on a quest - around a village/street/town etc


Spotting clues - will Arthur recognise this- or this, or this?


Finding things - wondering - Will Arthur recognise this? How do I know?


Thinking about them - Examining and recording


Finding out more - asking questions and finding answers, making wonder cards


Making connections - the thrill of the chase, making links and creating chains. 


Discovering new things - understanding moments in time.


Making decisions about the future - 


In the course of their work heritage detectives learn many important life skills.  It takes all these skills and more to make just one Wonder Card!


You may have a clue, perhaps you have an old picture, the front of a wonder card or you may be working entirely on your own, whatever your situation the task is always the same.  To explore, to spot and to wonder. Keep asking the main question, Would Arthur recognise this?


Example: You may be passing a field of potatoes.  You ask yourself, Would Arthur have seen a field of potatoes?


You may have been given a very old photograph of people working in the fields harvesting potatoes.  Does this people come from Arthur's time.


When you find something you think may be of interest  call it a WONDER POINT



Photographic Information - Take photogprahs of you Wonder Points - the thngs that make you think and ask questions. 

Written Information - Write notes that help you remember what you have spotted and where you have seen it.



Ask the sort of qustions that will help you find out more about you wonder point. Remembers to make a note of who you have been talking to, what they have told you and how you can contact them again.



Search online, read books and pamphlets, watch films do all you can to find the answers to your questions.

Its not always possible to be sure that what you have discovered is completely accurate.  If that happens you can always write a sentence like 'We think ........... because ........' 



Discovering and downloading information, resizing and placing photographs, Writing, editing and inserting information are all skills needed to make a wonder card.