Eldon Hill bowl barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008063

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1993


Ordnance survey map of Eldon Hill bowl barrow
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: High Peak (District Authority)

Parish: Peak Forest

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 11558 81147


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 protection.

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


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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 Age. 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 included.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 23265

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing