The authority will endeavour to meet the requirements of a bereaved family and accommodate specific needs according to religious beliefs etc. Burials can take place during any weekdays, with the exception of bank holidays, subject to availability.

When can burials take place?

Burials can take place on weekdays, except bank holidays, subject to availability.

Buying a grave

Graves are usually purchased at the time of the burial, although some cemeteries sell graves in advance for people who wish to plan ahead and choose their grave. For more information on pre-purchasing graves please contact the Assistant Cemetery Manager at the appropriate Cemetery.

When purchasing a grave at the time of a burial, your funeral director will normally help you make the necessary arrangements. You can contact the cemetery office direct if you wish to make your own arrangements. Whichever method you choose, it is advisable to view the section of cemetery where the burial is to take place beforehand. A member of staff will meet you on site to assist you with this.

What exactly will I own?

You will have bought the right to bury a coffin or caskets containing cremated remains (appropriate to the plot), in the grave space designated on the deed issued. No other person can authorise the future disturbance of the grave without your permission for the length of time given on the deed.

You will have also bought the right to place a memorial on the grave (subject to approval). No other person can authorise a memorial to be erected without your written permission.

Although you have bought the right to use the grave, the land itself still belongs to the council.

What is the authority responsible for?

The grave space will be topped up to the normal ground level as the soil sinks over the coming months.

When it is appropriate, the grave will be grassed, either by seeding or turfing. The grass planted will be maintained by the Council.

We will take every care when excavating graves surrounding yours. However, in the course of excavation, it may well become necessary to place soil on your grave, or to move machinery over it. If this is necessary, we will make every effort to protect the area and re-instate it as quickly as possible.

What is the grave owner responsible for?

You are responsible for the safekeeping of the deed supplied to you. You are responsible for any memorial you place on the grave. This means that you are liable for any damage caused to the memorial by any person, any item or any act of God. The only exception to this is damage caused to the memorial by an employee of the Council, which will be rectified via our own insurance scheme.

You are also responsible for the long-term safety of any memorial you placed on the grave. Many people have been injured and even killed by unstable memorials in cemeteries. You are liable for the maintenance of the memorials to ensure the safety of all users of the cemeteries.

You are strongly advised to insure any memorials. Your mason will supply details.

How long can I buy a grave for?

New deeds issued by the Council are issued for 100 years from the date of purchase. Any graves purchased previously from the Council will have the details of ownership on the deed.

What types of graves are available?

  • traditional graves
  • lawn graves
  • infant graves
  • cremation plots
  • specific religious plots

Please contact each individual cemetery for details of what graves are available.

Family history searches - searching for a grave

Staff will be please to assist you with family searches, but this may not always be immediately possible due to other priorities. 

The best way to obtain this information is to write to the relevant Cemetery Office with the enclosed fee and staff will then search the records at the earliest opportunity. 

Please note you will need as much accurate information as possible, including:

  • name of deceased – surname and forenames if possible
  • age
  • address at time of death or burial
  • date of death or burial
  • cemetery where interred
  • any further details which may help with the search

The first name search will be free of charge but any additional names will incur a charge of £15 per name.

You can use our online Birth, Death & Marriage search to find records of loved ones who have passed away within the County Borough.

Help us improve - don't include personal or financial information, e.g. your National Insurance number or credit card details.