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Community & Living

Burials Within the Borough Cemeteries

When a person dies and they are to be buried within one of the Borough Cemeteries there is a choice of either a new grave (purchased or unpurchased) the re-opening of an existing grave (where space is available) a cremated remains grave or a woodland burial

The arrangements for a burial are usually organised by a Funeral Director but this is not compulsory and a burial can be arranged by liaising directly with the Cemetery Office.

It is an offence to scatter cremated remains within any of the Borough Cemeteries.


New Graves

New lawn graves are available. These are for two coffin burials although additional depth may be available when the first burial is an infant of less than twelve months old. Cremated remains can also be interred in addition to the two coffin burials.

Re-open Graves

If there is sufficient space within an existing grave space then it can be re-opened for further burials. Authorisation to open the grave must be given by the Grave Owner(s).
If the Grave Owner is the deceased then the immediate next of kin/executor can authorise the burial and a formal transfer of the Exclusive Rights of Burial and Memorialisation should then be undertaken.

Cremated Remains Graves

Graves are available specifically for cremated remains. Up to four sets of cremated remains can be interred within one grave space. (Each set must be within a biodegradable casket). Please note that memorial design and size is restricted on this type of grave.

Unpurchased Graves

It is not compulsory to purchase a grave at the time of burial. The option of purchase may take place at a later date. However, there are memorial restrictions on unpurchased graves.

Woodland Burials

The option of a Woodland Burial is available at Keele Cemetery. Each grave space is for one interment only and can be marked by the planting of a tree.  More information can be found under Keele Cemetery 

Denominational Requirements

Specific areas may be available for individual preferences in some of the Cemeteries.


Do I own the grave?

No, you purchase the Exclusive Right of Burial and Memorialisation to the grave space for a period of 50 years, which means that only you or a person of your choice can be buried within the grave. The actual grave belongs to the Burial Authority, as do the Burial Grounds.

Can I reserve a grave for use in the future?

Yes you can. At present graves can be reserved for a period of 50 years. There is a limited choice within the Cemeteries and an appointment at the Cemetery Office must be made in order to reserve a grave.

How much does a burial cost?

The cost of a burial includes the purchase of the grave and the right to erect a memorial and an interment fee for the digging of the grave and the interment of the deceased. All graves purchased prior to April 1990 do not include the right to erect a memorial thus an additional fee will be applicable in these cases. A full list of current prices is available from the Cemetery Office.

How is a grave dug?

A grave can be excavated by machine or by hand. Due to the location of some graves a soil box is required and can be placed on an adjacent grave, restricting access.

How soon after a burial can a memorial be erected?

After a burial there is a settlement period of at least six months before a memorial can be erected, with the exception of cremated remains graves where the memorial is erected directly onto a concrete foundation.

Do I have to pay for the maintenance of the grave?

No, the cost of maintaining your grave and the Cemetery grounds is included in the fee you pay at the time of the burial. The graves will be turfed between nine and twelve months after the burial, dependent on the time of year and if you request new turf or soil then a fee will be applicable.

Can other items be placed on the grave or around the memorial?

The type of grave available are lawn graves and additional items to the memorial are not permitted on and around the grave space. Any items that are left are left at the owners risk and the Council takes no responsibility for damages to, or loss of, items. Cemetery Staff may remove any items left if they are found to be hazardous or a hindrance to maintenance work schedules.

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