[visited 8/1/12] I came up here in blanket mist, with visibility down to 40-50 metres, but I still found both definate barrows on top of the hill.
First the small "later" barrow to the East, clearly defined and reminiscent of some in the cairn fields in the more southern and eastern moors of the peaks. In the mist watch out for mine workings and just head to the high bit at the East end of the hill. Not worth the trip on its own I have to say, but worth seeing if you are up here.
Secondly I headed for the bigger barrow, keeping in mind it was on the only high point to the West, I tried to keep on the highest points and headed off into the gloom. Via an accidental detour halfway down the slope towards Eldon hole, I found the bigger barrow. This is another good sized barrow in the Northern peaks, of a similar size to Cow low, Lord's seat et al. The obligatory massive hole in the middle didn't disapoint, but the much more recent cairn on top was a sad sight for me. I presume because of the hole and maybe the quarry, walkers felt marking this point in the mist is necessary. To be fair to them, it certainly helps find it!
Via Eldon Hill enclosure I made the obligatory trip to Eldon Hole. A scary open wound into the centre of the earth, no wonder this hill was once called Elvedon Hill. This is definately an entranceway into the nether realm.
Access is across a few fields. I parked near the top of Winnets Pass which is a 40 minute trip to the top of the hill. You could probably park near Perryfoot and come at it from that direction. Stiles abound from either way, but its pretty firm under foot.
Below the barrow on the south side of the hill is 'Eldon Hole', a scary looking chasm that is known as one of the Wonders of the Peak. It was rumoured to be bottomless. "..in the reign of Elizabeth, the Earl of Leicester is said to have hired a man to go down into Eldon Hole, to observe its form, and ascertain its depth.. 'He was let down about two hundred ells, and, after he had remained at the length of the rope awhile, he was pulled up again, with great expectation of some discoveries; but when he came up he was senseless, and died within eight days of a phrensy.'"
p181 in Museum Europæum; or, Select antiquities ... of nature and art, in Europe; compiled by C. Hulbert (1825)
A two mile plumbline was supposed to have been lowered down without finding the bottom.
This 'Cressbrook' page (with a picture) rather dully says it's only 60m deep. Still quite deep admittedly. Mad people go caving in it. http://www.cressbrook.co.uk/visits/eldonhole.php
People (and sheep) still fall into it and die now and again, so it hasn't lost its scary reputation just yet. Though it may not be the entrance to Hell it was previously thought to be.
A local phrase:
Eldon Hole wants filling up [said as a hint that some statement is untrue].
George Hibbert; Charlotte S. Burne
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4. (1889), pp. 291-293.
This barrow is on the summit of Eldon hill, and mutually visible with the barrows on Gautries Hill and Snels Low. Bateman found various skeletons and worked antler and bones. Later excavations found more burials accompanied by quartz pebbles, and a jet bead. More details here: http://www.magic.gov.uk/rsm/23265.pdf
The hill has been mined for lead over the centuries, and has many dips and earthworks connected with that. Including a huge quarry now.