Grave purchasing

How do I buy a grave?

You may wish to buy a grave at the time when you are organising funeral arrangements. Your funeral director will usually help you to make the necessary arrangements for buying a grave.  You may wish to make your own arrangements, either before or at the time of a funeral.

Contact the Bereavement Services Office to organise this.

How long can I buy a grave for?

In the cemeteries we manage, we offer several types of grave. We sell the Exclusive Right of Burial for 100 years, known as 'purchased' graves.

Who can buy a grave?

Anyone can buy the Exclusive Rights to a grave space.  We double the fee for those not living in the Westmorland and Furness District, unless the grave space is for an upcoming funeral of a *Westmorland and Furness Resident.

*Westmorland and Furness Resident - An individual who lived in the Westmorland and Furness area within their last 12 months. Please be aware, we can make official checks to confirm this.

When can burials take place?

See the 'interment hours' details of days and times interments can take place.

What types of graves are available?

Lawn graves

After levelling the grave after burial, it is then grass turfed.  Grounds staff maintain the grassed area.  Grave spaces in these areas are available for up to three full burials in Penrith Cemetery. Single depth graves are available in Alston, Appleby, Garrigill and Nenthead cemeteries.

Woodland graves

See 'woodland burial area' for more information.

There are woodland burial graves available at Penrith Cemetery and Alston Cemetery. The graves are single depth only. Permanent memorials are not permitted on the graves.

Children's graves

Half grave spaces are available for the burial of young children and babies at all our cemeteries. There is a dedicated children's burial area at Penrith Cemetery.

Cremated Remains

Half grave spaces are available at all our cemeteries. You can inter up to four caskets of cremated remains in a half grave space. You may buy the Exclusive Rights to these graves and place a memorial on them. You may inter cremated remains in an existing family grave for which you have bought the Exclusive Rights.

What is the difference between unpurchased and purchased graves?

Unpurchased grave

An unpurchased grave, sometimes known as a rotation, public or common grave, is where the right to burial is not purchased. We have total control of the grave. We decide who we bury in the grave. This may not be members of the same family.

No memorial rights exist on unpurchased graves. You cannot place a memorial.

Contact the Bereavement Services Office for more details.

Purchased grave

A purchased grave has Exclusive Rights to the grave for a period of 100 years. Grave rights bought between April 2000 and March 2023 were for a 50 year period.

Only the legal owner of the Exclusive Rights of the grave can give permission for other burials and a memorial. The legal grave owner must authorise this and follow our Cemetery Regulations.

How much will it cost?

See the Cemetery Fees and Charges information for costs of purchasing full and half space graves.

What tributes can I place on the grave?

If you would like to add a floral tribute to a grave you are welcome to do so. Cemetery staff will remove floral tributes presented at the grave at the time of burial after three weekends have elapsed since the burial. Those visiting the grave may place floral tributes and maintain the grave.

You may only plant shrubs, plants, bulbs and trees in the immediate surrounds of the memorial space, at the head of the grave. We may prune or remove these if they are not maintained and kept within the footprint of the headstone base.

Cemetery staff will remove Christmas wreaths placed on graves starting the second week of February.

See Cemetery Regulations for information on floral tributes and wreaths.

How are graves maintained?

Our Grounds Maintenance Contractor maintains the grassed areas in the cemetery. The Grounds Maintenance Contractor cuts the grass on routine cycles. Maintenance of the grass may not take place whilst there are floral tributes laying or if there are items placed outside of the immediate surrounds of the memorial space.

The responsibility for the safety and upkeep, including repairs to any gravestone or memorial, remains with the grave owner(s).

Last updated: Tuesday, 20 June, 2023.