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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. Please ask the cemetery staff who are trained to be sensitive to the recently bereaved for any advice you may require concerning your choices.

Email: cemeteries@dacorum.gov.uk
Telephone: 01442 228066

The following information may help you make your choice.

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  • How do I buy a grave?

    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.

    Plots are normally allocated by the cemetery staff but the option to choose specific plots is offered as an additional service. You may select a specific plot for both immediate and future interments, subject to availability and your requirements.

    It is advisable to meet with the cemetery staff at the cemetery to view the available plots and to choose which one you would prefer. Please note there is an additional fee for selection.

  • How long can I buy a grave for?

    The exclusive right of burial (or grave deed) is sold for 75 or 99 years. For a cremated remains plot, the exclusive right of burial is sold for 75 or 99 years.

    These are known as 'purchased graves' and although you never actually own the ground you do own the exclusive rights to bury in your purchased plot. This means that only the grave owner/s can decide who goes into the plot or which memorial may go onto the plot (in line with cemetery regulations).

  • Who can buy a grave?

    Anyone may purchase a grave space within our cemeteries, but those living outside the borough will incur additional fees due to their Council Tax being paid to other Local Authorities.

  • When can burials take place?

    Burials can take place on any weekday, except on bank holidays. Please talk to your funeral director or contact us to discuss any specific needs.

  • What types of graves are available?

    Lawn-type graves

    We will maintain these special areas, at no expense to the grave owner.

    After the burial, the grave is left mounded as considerable sinkage will occur. When the ground has stabilised it is made level and grassed over (this may take between six months to a year after burial).

    We allow a small planting area in front of the headstone, provided that the memorial does not take up all of the allotted space. This is 2ft from the rear of the memorial forward, and 2ft from the rear of the memorial left and right. This can be joined making a small planting area. Only small flowers/bulbs may be planted, and all shrubs/conifers and larger plants require the written permission of the Cemetery Manager.

    So that we can maintain these areas, nothing else is allowed to be placed or grown on or around the grave and the area in front of the headstone is grassed over.

  • Can I bury cremated remains in the cemeteries?

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

    Once cremated remains have been placed in purchased graves they can no longer be used for full burials.

    Dacorum is an environmentally aware borough and only bio-degradable wooden caskets, cardboard containers or eco-friendly bags may be used to inter cremated remains.

  • Can I scatter cremated remains inside a grave space?

    Yes, the remains will be transferred into a bronze scatterer. Cemeteries staff will be able to perform the scattering or alternatively a staff member will instruct a family member on how to perform the scattering.

  • 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.

    These graves can sometimes be bought at a later date provided they have not been used for a second interment. We will decide who will be buried in the grave and this might not be members of the same family.

    No memorial rights exist on public graves so no headstone or other memorial can be put up.

    Purchased grave

    A purchased grave is where the right of burial can be bought for a period of 75 or 99 years. There is the option to extend that period by purchasing another 75 or 99 years at any time during the original purchase 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 and only with the permission of the legal living owner/s.