Ancient Monuments

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Eldon Hill bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Peak Forest, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3271 / 53°19'37"N

Longitude: -1.8279 / 1°49'40"W

OS Eastings: 411558.267256

OS Northings: 381146.747376

OS Grid: SK115811

Mapcode National: GBR HYPZ.11

Mapcode Global: WHCCK.WMRQ

Entry Name: Eldon Hill bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1952

Last Amended: 8 December 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008063

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23265

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Peak Forest

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Peak Forest and Dove Holes

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is situated at the summit of Eldon Hill in the north-west uplands
of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. It is a bowl barrow and includes a
roughly circular mound with a diameter of 16.5m by 15.5m and a height of
c.1.5m. It is in a prominent location and is mutually visible with barrows on
the tops of nearby Snels Low and Gautries Hill.
Three partial excavations of the barrow have been carried out, the first by
Thomas Bateman in 1856 and the others by Rooke Pennington in 1869 and 1871.
Bateman dug into the centre of the mound where he found two disturbed
skeletons, one child and one adult, and a perforated bone artefact. South of
these he found pieces of worked antler and animal bones and, further south,
the remains of a cremation burial accompanied by a decorated pottery food
vessel and a burnt flint artefact and the skeleton of another child. These had
been inserted amongst the stones close to the surface of the barrow and were
considered by Bateman to be secondary burials. In 1869, Pennington
re-excavated the centre of the barrow from the south-west and found, deeper in
the mound, a large limestone cist or grave containing the bones of a mature
adult, a horse bone and another food vessel. In 1871, he dug a trench across
the barrow and found, beneath the cist, a pit in the old land surface
containing a crouched skeleton whose head was protected by a stone lining and
capstone. The pit also contained animal bones and a bone awl. South of the
centre he found two inhumation burials, one of which may have been that
already found by Bateman and the other accompanied by quartz pebbles.
Scattered bones from at least one other inhumation were found throughout the
excavated area in addition to a jet bead. Pennington also found that the mound
was retained by a limestone kerb. The remains date the barrow to the Bronze
The modern cairn on top of the barrow, and marker set into the surface, are
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Although partly excavated, Eldon Hill bowl barrow is still reasonably well-
preserved and retains further significant archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Abercromby, J, Bronze Age Pottery of the British Isles, (1912)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Ten Years Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave-Hills, (1861), 97-8
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 84-5
Pennington, R, The Barrows and Bone Caves of Derbyshire, (1877), 11-17
Manby, T G, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Food Vessels from Derbyshire, , Vol. 77, (1964), 23
Pennington, R, 'Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute' in Notes on some tumuli and stone circles near Castleton, Derbys., , Vol. 4, (1875), 377

Source: Historic England

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