Information for families

Information for families about burials, cremations and bereavement services.

Exclusive right of burial

An exclusive right of burial is where someone purchases the rights to bury in a particular plot.  The right of burial is given in the form of a deed. 

The rights are leased for a period of 50 years and also give the holder the right to erect a memorial.  An existing deed may be transferred to another person by producing relevant evidence.  A fee is charged for this service.  

The burial land still remains in the ownership of the Council throughout the 50 year period.  If no burial takes place during the 50 year period and the Council have not received a request for renewal from the holder of the right of burial the Council may grant a renewed right of burial to another person. 

The holder of a right of burial can also give up their right to the Council before the end of the 50 year lease if no burial has taken place.

 

Wills and testament

When a person dies without a will the law says they are intestate and their estate is divided among members of the family under strict rules contained in the Administration of Estates Act after all bills are paid.  It is always advisable to complete a will. 

 

Lawn graves

Double depth lawn graves will hold two full interments and up to three cremated remains interments.  Single depth lawn graves will hold one full interment and up to three cremated remains interments. 

Cremated remains may only be buried in the grave once the grave is full, ie – double depth – two full interments have taken place, single depth – one full interment has taken place.

Lawn graves will be turfed or grass seed will be sown 26 weeks after the burial has taken place depending on the season.  

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the lawn section and nothing must be planted or placed on this area.

The Council has the right to prune, cut down or dig up and remove any existing shrubs, plants or flowers which have become unsightly, overgrown or impede grave excavation. 

This will be done in consultation with the exclusive right of burial owner if up to date contact details are available.

 

Muslim graves

The exclusive rights of burial in grave spaces will only be granted sequentially.

Graves may be mounded to a maximum height of 15 cm (6 ins) above normal ground level after settlement has occurred except in lawned areas where mounding is not permitted.

Graves will be orientated so that they face Mecca/north.

Twenty six weeks after an interment in the Muslim section the Council will sow with grass seed or lay turf over the whole of the grave space.

The owner will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the plot.  If the owner fails to maintain the grassed area the Council will have the right to maintain the plot.

 

Child graves

An area in each cemetery has been allocated for child burials for the interment of infants up to the age of 4 years.

The area allocated to a grave within the child burial section is 61 cm (2 ft) wide x 122 cm (4 ft) long and it will hold one interment.

Twenty six weeks after an interment in the child burial section the Council will sow with grass seed or lay turf over the whole of the grave space.  No-one other than a Council authorised officer shall interfere with or alter the grave space.

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the grave and nothing must be planted or placed on this area.
 

Cremated remains graves

Arrangements must be made through the Bereavement Services office to bury or scatter cremated remains, even if exclusive rights of burial have been granted.

Cremated remains may be buried in or scattered on a family burial plot or specific cremated remains plots.  There is also a specific area in Redcar cemetery to scatter cremated remains. 

The area allocated to a grave within a cremated remains section is 61 cm (2 ft) wide x 122 cm (4 ft) long.  This applies to all cemeteries apart from Loftus, Skelton and Brotton. 

The size of the graves allocated in these cemeteries is 122 cm (4 ft) wide x 61 cm (2 ft) long.  Full sized memorials (up to 3’ high) will be allowed on cremated remains plots in Loftus, Skelton and Brotton. 

A cremated remains grave will hold two interments of cremated remains only.

Cremated remains must be interred in a biodegradable container unless the remains are to be scattered.

It is the responsibility of the person arranging the interment to produce the cremated remains for interment at the cemetery unless agreed with the Bereavement Services Officer. 

After an interment in the cremated remains section the Council will replace the turf over the grave space.  No one other than a Council authorised officer shall interfere with or alter the grave space.

The Council will maintain the whole of the grassed part of the cremated remains grave and nothing must be planted or placed in this area.
 

Common (public) graves

A common grave is a grave where the exclusive right to bury and the right to erect a memorial has not been leased.  Memorials must not be erected nor adornments placed on a common grave.

 

Soil boards

Soil boards may need to be placed on a grave when opening up an adjoining grave for a full interment.  Where contact details are current a letter will be sent, as soon as possible, to inform the exclusive right of burial holder of when the soil boards will be placed on the grave.  The boards will be placed on the grave for the shortest time possible. 

 

Floral tributes, wreath, trees and shrubs

Floral tributes may be placed on a grave on the day of the burial and may, if deemed necessary, be removed by cemetery staff four weeks after the burial.

Flowers must be placed in a vase, either a memorial vase in the head row or in the actual memorial stone vase. 

Conifers, trees and large shrubs should not be planted anywhere within the grave space or head row.  Any existing planting which has overgrown the grave space will be removed with consultation with the exclusive right of burial holder, where possible.

Wreaths placed on graves during the Christmas period may, if deemed necessary, be removed from February onwards.

 

Grave edgings / chippings

Edging or chippings of any kind are not permitted anywhere on the grave or head row, except in Eston Cemetery and then only on plots W, X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC and DD. 

A personalisation form will be sent out with the deeds for graves at Eston on W, X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC and DD.  This should be completed, signed and return to the Bereavement Services Office.

 

If edging or chippings of any kind are placed on a grave, other than the above plots at Eston, the Bereavement Services office will contact the family and ask that they remove them.  The family will be given up to one month to remove the edging or chippings.  If not removed by the family, grounds staff will remove them and store them for a period of four weeks awaiting collection. 

 

Adornments

Adornments are allowed only in the head row. 

At Eston cemetery on plots W, X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC and DD there will be a choice of having an extended head row of up to three feet in length.  Any adornments must be placed within this area and must not exceed 10” in height.

No articles should be placed on the grassed area of the grave. 

 

If articles are placed on the grassed area the Bereavement Services office will attempt to contact the exclusive right of burial holder to ask that items be placed either into the head row or be removed from the grave. 

If the articles are not removed or contact cannot be made the articles will be moved to the head row or removed by the grounds staff and will be stored for four weeks awaiting collection. 

Fragile vases and ornaments are placed at the owners risk and the Council cannot accept any liability for damage.

No alcohol-based drinks should be placed on any grave space.

 

Memorials and headstones

All memorials and headstones must be supplied and fitted by an approved memorial mason or funeral director.  A list of approved masons and funeral directors are on the Redcar and Cleveland website. 

Approved memorials may only be placed on a grave space for which the exclusive right of burial and the right to erect a memorial has been purchased.

A full size memorial may only be erected after a minimum of 5 months from the date of a burial, except for a burial of cremated remains, where the stone may be placed as soon after the burial as possible. 

The exclusive right of burial holder is responsible for the approved memorial or headstone and should ensure that it is kept in good repair.  The exclusive right of burial holder is responsible for any repairs to damage caused by vandalism, storm, wind, lightning, cracking or subsidence of footings. 

If a memorial becomes unsafe the Council may contact the exclusive right of burial holder to advise that repairs are necessary.

Surveys of all memorials in the borough’s cemeteries will be undertaken at least once every five years as recommended by the Health and Safety Executive.

 

Memorial benches

Memorial benches are no longer allowed to be placed in any of our cemeteries.

 

Vehicles

There is vehicular access at all times to all of the borough’s cemeteries apart from Eston and Redcar. 

A car park is provided at Eston cemetery which is accessed via Church Lane. 

Vehicular access to Redcar cemetery is limited to blue badge holders.  There is parking on Thwaites Lane. 

There is a one way system in Saltburn cemetery.  Turn left once inside the gates.

Care must be taken at all times when driving in any of the cemeteries.

 

Dogs and horses

Dogs and horses (other than guide dogs for the blind and horses used in or as part of a funeral cortège) are prohibited in the cemeteries.

 

Family history searches

This service is provided by Deceased Online and all searches will be undertaken via this website and not through the Bereavement Services office.  A link is available on the cemeteries website.

 

General cemetery regulations

Visitors to the borough’s cemeteries are asked:

  • To keep to the footpaths and driveways and to generally respect the cemeteries at all times
  • To not take dogs or horses into the cemetery
  • To close pedestrian access gates behind them
  • Ensure any waste flowers or rubbish are placed in the bins provided
  • Not to wilfully create any disturbance in the cemetery or behave in a way that may be a nuisance to others
  • Not to drink alcohol-based drinks in any of the borough’s cemeteries.