SK 1156 8114: Eldon Hill, Round Barrow. Scheduled (8) barrow, forty-nine feet in diameter and about five feet high, on the top of Elden Hill, was examined in 1856 and c.1870, when a contracted skeleton in a shallow grave, possibly associated with a jet ornament was found at the centre. A large secondary cist contained pottery "ornamented with the finger-nail and a sharpened stick" and elsewhere in the mound was an inhumation with a food vessel of Manby's type 2 (ii). (3,7,8).
Tumulus. (6). A grassed-over round barrow with heavy stone content, maximum height 1.9m. There are slight mutilations but no evidence of a ditch. Published survey, 25" correct. (9)
Primary crouched skeleton in rock-grave with jet spacer bead, bone awl and animal bones. Cist with adult male and Food Vessel, with two heaps of disarticulated bones, one of which had quartz pebbles and a worked flint. Heaps may have been from earlier excavation. Secondary cremation in body of cairn. (11). Barrow, 50 feet in diameter situated on top of Eldon Hill, excavated in July 1856 by T. Bateman and in 1871 by Rooke Pennington. (12)
The description of excavations given in (11) is inaccurate - it should read: in 1871 Pennington found a shallow pit cut into the old ground surface to the bedrock, containing a contracted inhumation of a young adult with the head protected by a stone lining and capstone in the pit. This pit also contained a bone awl, a sherd and bones of a pig and bones of a pig, some ox and horse. Partially overlaying this pit was a large cist, opened 1869 and 1871, which contained bones of a mature adult and a horse and a food vessel. Higher in the mound the ?earth was disturbed but human bones of both a child and adult, and a perforated bone artefact were found in 1856. South of the centre, in the mound amongst large stones, was a child skeleton and a scattered human cremation accompanied by a food vessel and a flint artefact described as a spearhead. This burial was found in 1856 and it is not clear if this is the same as that found in 1871 and described as two piles of human bone accompanied by quartz pebbles (one case) and antler tines (both cases). In 1856 antler tines and other animal bones were found high in the mound between the burial just described and the mounds centre - no quartz pebbles were mentioned suggesting at least one of the 1871 burials had not been disinterred in 1856. North of the mound's centre scattered human bones occurred throughout the mound (disturbed in antiquity ?) together with horse and deer teeth, a tine, and a bone awl. Near the centre was a jet spacer bead, but this could not be assigned to a specific burial with certainty. All these finds were from the 1871 excavation which also found a limestone kerb retaining the mound (not visible today). The extent of these excavations is difficult to quantify exactly. Bateman dug to the centre and the south of this. In 1869 Pennington dug the centre deeper from the south-west. Both these digs were small scale. In 1871 Pennington dug a 1.2m wide trench across the mound - he stated this ran north-south and if this is the case he would have bisected the earlier excavations. However, surface indications today suggest the trench may have run north-east to south-west, if so, this trench ran in previous unexcavated mound throughout. (14).
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. (15).
Later prehistoric barrow excavated in 1856 by Bateman, and by Rooke Pennington in 1869 and 1871. Bateman found a large cist containing the teeth and bones of an old man, a Food Vessel, and a horse bone. At the centre of the old ground surface was a crouched skeleton of a young adult accompanied by a bone awl, a sherd of pottery and animal bones. Near the centre of the mound a awl and jet bead were found. Pennington found a kerb and disturbed human and animal bones and flint flakes. (16).