Can I choose or pre-purchase a grave?

No. There are a number of reasons why the Council had finished this practice, foremost of which is that pre-selling plots can have a snowball effect, with many plots being sold in different parts of the cemetery.

I am told the grave is for two people - there is only one person in the grave and I now want two more burials to take place in the grave.

When a grave is purchased to take two full body burials, the depth to which the grave is excavated for the first burial must take into account the need for the second burial. There are legal requirements as to the depth of soil that must be placed over the coffin after interment, and it is therefore not physically possible to put an extra coffin into the grave without breaking the law. However, after the grave is full for burial of coffins, cremated remains’ caskets or urns may still be buried within the grave.

How many people can be buried in a grave?

Usually two people unless otherwise specified but this must be asked for before the first burial occurs. Cremated remains may also be interred.

What kind of memorials can be used in the cemetery?

With the onset of rigorous Health and Safety checks and enforcement concerning memorials, it was decided by the Council to allow only Lawn Memorials to be erected in our cemeteries from 1 January 2006. We have allowed for a range of sizes within the Lawn Memorial type so individual styles and tastes can be accommodated. These memorials also help keep maintenance costs down and remove a trip hazard.

Who is responsible for maintaining the memorial?

It is the responsibility of the Exclusive Rights Owner (Deed Holder) to maintain the memorial – that is the Next of kin or personal representative of the deceased. If a problem arises with a memorial, we try to contact the Exclusive Rights Owner, asking him/her to attend to the repairs required. If they cannot be traced and the memorial is unsafe, we must make it safe to fulfil our Health and Safety responsibilities. In such circumstances we would normally lay the memorial flat.

Can we choose any Memorial Mason to erect a Memorial?

Yes, as long as that Memorial Mason is registered with BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons).

How can I locate a relative's grave?

We hold records dating back to 1860. As long as the deceased's name and year of death is provided, staff should be able to assist in locating the section and grave space number. Please use the Cemetery Database to locate information yourself if possible first.

Search the Cemetery Database

When will I be able to have a Lawn Memorial erected onto the grave?

Where foundations are provided for lawn memorials, these allow the use of ground anchors and fixings that comply with the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Recommended Code of Practice. It is possible to erect a memorial almost immediately.

In cemeteries where the headstone is erected directly on the excavated area of the grave, it is best to leave the erection date to your BRAMM registered mason who will decide when it is best to erect it.

Why have I only been sold the grave for a set period of time? I want the grave forever!

Local Authorities are not authorised to sell the land in which the burial is to take place. Cemeteries' law stipulates that only the exclusive right of burial to a grave can be sold. The Council has the right to set the terms of the duration in years that the Exclusive right of Burial (Burial Deed) will cover from the date of burial. The Council has set this term at 30 years. The law does permit the period of right of burial to be added to and to be handed down to younger generations, so the grave can stay in the family for as long as they wish (please read the section on Deed Transfers). However, ownership will never be issued for more than 30 years at any one time. Even where this option to extend is not offered, the owner of the right of burial can renew the right at the end of the term.

How do I arrange a burial?

Burials are normally arranged by contacting a Funeral Director or you may contact the Council for further advice.

Are new graves available in all the Council's cemeteries?

New graves are available at New Quay, Cefn Llan (Aberystwyth), Cardigan and Lledrod.

There are no new graves available in Plas Crug Cemetery, Aberystwyth and it is only open for existing 'Exclusive Right of Burial' grant owners OR people whose relatives are buried in the cemetery and who can prove they are next of kin (this is also reliant on the fact that there is space in the grave for another burial).

Why do the regulations seem so harsh?

The burial authority has a duty of care to ensure that the cemetery is properly managed and is a safe environment for anyone to visit regardless of the purpose of his or her visit.

Why do I have to make an application to erect a memorial when I own the plot?

The burial authority retains ownership of the plot. Under the terms of the Exclusive Right of Burial you have the right to erect a memorial but only with the agreement and consent of the Council which is given through the Memorial application process.

Why can't I plant my own tree/bush or create a garden?

The vast majority of interments take place within the headstone border plots within our Cemeteries. No additional planting is allowed for the following reasons:

  1. Safe easy access to plots for relatives of all ages visiting their loved ones.
  2. This style of layout gives access to large mowing machines, which in turn give a cost effective and higher standard of maintenance than a heavy memorial plot.

In more heavy memorial plots the roots of trees and bushes often pose problems when roots spread into other grave areas and if they are badly placed they get in the way of routine grounds maintenance.

What can I place on or around my headstone?

Flower vases are to be securely mounted on the base of the headstone. Please consider this when arranging for a new headstone or when having an additional inscription incorporated. Other personal items should not be placed on the base of the memorial stone/tablet or in the lawn area covering the rest of the grave.

Are the Burial Grounds consecrated?

Yes and no.

Cardigan has both Consecrated and Unconsecrated in the older section, as does Plas Crug, Aberystwyth.

New Quay, Lledrod, Cardigan Lawned sections and Cefn Llan (Aberystwyth) has individual graves which may be blessed or left unconsecrated according to the wishes of the deceased or next of kin.