Is a coffin needed for a burial option?
In some circumstances when looking at burial options, it may be possible for the body to be buried in a shroud instead of a coffin. A shroud is a special cloth designed to be wrapped around the body after death.
Muslim burials typically use a shroud, unless there are medical reasons which preclude this. Shrouds are also very popular in green burials.
Another option to a traditional wooden coffin is one made from cardboard or other biodegradable material. Strong enough to hold the body, they break down very quickly once in the ground and are typically cheaper too. Some funeral directors put the cardboard coffins in a wooden case for show purposes, removing it at the point of burial.
How quickly is the grave filled in?
Once the coffin has been lowered into the ground and the service conducted, the plot will be filled in the same day. It won’t be left overnight uncovered.
Some families stay to watch the grave being filled; you need to request this in advance if you to do this funeral option.
How quickly do I need to pick a headstone?
It’s important to allow the ground time to settle before a headstone is erected. For this reason, you will need to leave at least six months before you put up a headstone and/or memorial.
What types of memorial or headstones are permitted?
The exact rules vary between church graveyards and cemeteries, and each often has their own rules. Before you place an order you should check the rules and get approval for your headstone if it’s out of the ordinary with your burial option.
There are strict rules about everything including the stone used, inscription, size, colour, style, edging and finish. If you put up a headstone which breaches regulations you will be expected to re-move it.
As a general rule, there are more rules for memorials which will be situated in a church graveyard than one in a cemetery. Church graveyards don’t permit abbreviations or slang on the inscription and the finish on the stone must not be polished.
How do I choose the type of stone for the headstone?
There are many different types of stone available for headstones but as well as considering the location, maintenance should also be taken into account.
Marble isn’t permitted in graveyards but can be used in cemeteries, but it’s not the most durable of stones. It should also be kept away from particularly damp areas.
Granite is the most hardwearing of the stones available, and will stay looking sharp and fresh for much longer. Depending on the site of the burial, you may prefer a stone that ages quickly, to fit in with the surroundings. Your exact requirements will help to determine your choice, along with the amount of maintenance you plan on carrying out.
Can I bury someone in my garden?
There’s actually far fewer restrictions than many people think and it’s entirely possible to have the burial site situated in your own garden.
You will need to own the land and you’ll need to inform the Registrar about the site and exact date the burial took place. Don’t forget to consider what you would do if you ever needed to sell your house; having a grave located in your garden could not just lower the value of your home but cause a practical problem too.