Buying a Grave

We appreciate that during this difficult time you will have to make important decisions about the cemetery and grave you want for the funeral
For information email:
The following information may help you make your choice.

How do I buy a grave?

You are buying the right to bury in a grave, not the land.  Normally, your funeral director will help to make the necessary arrangements for buying a grave. Some people may want to make their own arrangements at the time of the funeral. You can organise this by directly contacting us. We will be happy to advise you. If you would like to view the section of the cemetery where the burial is to take place, before the funeral, we will arrange for a member of staff to meet with you on the site.

How long can I buy the rights of a grave for?

In the cemeteries we manage, we offer several types of grave. The Exclusive Right of Burial is sold for 99 years. These are known as 'purchased graves'.

Who can buy the rights to a grave?

Anyone can buy the rights to a grave in the borough's cemeteries – however, people who live outside the borough will be asked to pay an extra fee.

When can burials take place?

Burials can take place on any weekday, except bank holidays, but no later than 3.30pm. (2.30pm from 1 November to 1 March) Arrangements can be made for Muslim burials. Please talk to your funeral director or contact us to discuss any specific needs.

What types of graves are available?

Some of the Councils cemeteries have sections where only certain types of headstone memorials are permitted once a funeral has taken place.
If you know what type of headstone memorial is required on a grave, then please discuss this with your funeral director before the funeral is arranged.  Regardless of your wishes, once a funeral has taken place, the Council will not permit a headstone memorial that is not in keeping for a particular section.
Lawn Type Graves
Graves that are situated in the lawns area allow the grave owner to place a headstone, small vase, or cremated remains tablet on the grave, or it may be left unmarked.  However they cannot place anything along the full length of the grave.  After the burial has taken place, the grave will be levelled and will be grassed over.
The only memorials that will be permitted in this area are headstones or a simple flower vase.  Cremated remains tablets, flat with the ground level will also be permitted.  All memorials must be fitted by a Council approved stone mason.
Bedding plants or bulbs can be planted in the area directly in front of the headstone but must not exceed an area 3' 3" (1000mm) x 3' 3" (1000mm) and / or a flower container no more than 8" (20cm) squared can be placed within the area detailed above.  Please do not plant shrubs or trees, or erect other structures or place any items including fencing, kerbings, wire fencing, windmills, raised or sunken footstones, solar lights, wind chimes, pots, balloons, any item made of pottery / tin / plastic / glass / bricks. 
If items are found to prevent maintenance of the cemetery, the grave owner will be contacted and asked to remove them.  If the items continue to impede access, unfortunately they will be removed by the Council.  The aim is to be able to cut the grass and maintain the area without any restrictions or obstacles.
Kerbed Section Graves (Traditional)
Graves that are situated in the kerbed section allow the owner of the grave to put a full headstone and kerb surrounds along the full length of the grave.
Headstones and kerb surrounds must be fitted by a Council approved stone mason.
The area enclosed by the kerbing can be planted with small bedding plants or bulbs, or covered with flagstones and chippings or other items.  No shrubs or trees are permitted to be planted within the kerbing.

Can I bury cremated remains in the cemeteries?

Yes, there are memorial gardens for cremated remains at each of our cemeteries except Hardwick Road. Cremated remains can also be placed in purchased graves.

Are all the graves on consecrated ground?

Most of our cemeteries have consecrated (blessed as sacred) and unconsecrated areas where you can buy graves. These areas are consecrated by the Church of England.

What is the difference between unpurchased and purchased graves?

Unpurchased grave
An unpurchased grave, sometimes known as a public or common grave, is where the right to burial cannot be bought and the Council has total control of the grave. The Council will decide who will be buried in the grave and this might not be members of the same family. Only unpurchased graves first used prior to 1985 may have the Rights purchased subsequently.
No memorial rights exist on public graves so no headstone or other memorial can be erected.
Purchased grave
A purchased grave is where the Right of Burial can be bought for a period of 99 years. Rights may be renewed at the end of this period.
The owner of the Right of Burial can decide who will be buried in the grave and memorials are allowed in line with our cemetery regulations.

How much will it cost?

Cemetery Charges
Cemetery Fees (1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017)
We know how important memorials are as a lasting symbol of remembrance.
We can offer advice and help to make sure that all memorials meet cemetery regulations.
For information email:


Last updated: 05 April 2016
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