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Burials

Headstones in the cemetery grounds

Arranging a burial and buying a grave

We hope you will find the following information useful when arranging a burial at either of our cemeteries at Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham or off Horsefair Street, Charlton Kings.

Do I have to appoint a funeral director?

No, funerals do not have to be arranged with the services of a funeral director. If you are appointing a funeral director, they will offer support and guidance as you make the burial arrangements but if you need any further assistance please contact us where we can guide you through every step of the way

Choosing a funeral director

When arranging a funeral with a funeral director it is important you are completely satisfied with the service you receive. The funeral director should always supply an itemized estimate of what they will charge you for and be able to advise any difference in costs if the arrangements change.

Advise on costs can be found at the Money Advise Service
Funeral directors costs can be compared on Your Funeral Choice

These organizations are run by and are for funeral directors. If you have cause to complain about a funeral director you can also contact Gloucestershire’s Trading Standards.

When can a burial take place?

Burials take place on weekdays, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.  Your funeral director will contact our office to book the burial at an available and suitable date and time for you and your family.

Can I have a service before the burial in either of your chapels?

You can have a funeral service elsewhere and then attend a graveside burial at either Cheltenham or Charlton Kings Cemetery.  However you can arrange the funeral service in one of our chapels at Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham.  Please note, there is no chapel at our Charlton Kings Cemetery so you would need to allow extra time to travel to Charlton Kings for the graveside burial.

Find out more information about our chapels.

What burial paperwork do I need to complete?

Your appointed funeral director or a member of the bereavement services team can help you ensure that you have correctly completed all of the relevant paperwork ahead of the burial.

We require a minimum of three working days before a burial, we need to be in possession of a fully completed interment form, a green disposal certificate or a yellow coroners certificate.

Download the burial interment form.

How much does a burial cost?

The cost of a burial depends very much on the type of service you require.  Visit our fees and forms page for a full list of our current fees.

Do I have to purchase a grave for a burial?

No, a grave doesn’t have to be purchased for a burial to take place.  However, as the burial authority, Cheltenham Borough Council will allocate the grave and will hold all the rights to grave.  The grave may already have previous unrelated burials and you are not permitted to place any memorials or headstones on the grave, with the exception of cut flowers in a vase.  Please note, unpurchased graves are only available at our Cheltenham cemetery.  Unpurchased graves can be purchased retrospectively; please contact us for further information.

Can I reserve a grave?

You can only purchase the rights for a grave for future use at our cemetery at Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham based on a 50 years, 75 years or 99 years lease, but it is not essential to purchase the rights in advance.

However, the rights to a grave can be purchased as and when a grave is required at either Cheltenham or Charlton Kings cemeteries.

For further information please contact us.

Download the grave purchase form.

What types of grave are available to purchase?

Lawn garden grave: available at Cheltenham cemetery including Jewish Section and Heritage but not available at Charlton Kings cemetery.

Following a burial, grass seed will be spread on the surface of the grave.  Headstones stand back-to-back with the planting of annual plants are only permitted when contained within a 12”/30cm mini kerb border at the base of the headstone; no other planting is allowed including trees or shrubs. 

Traditional adult grave: available at Cheltenham cemetery including Section K6, Muslim Section and Charlton Kings cemetery.

Following a burial, grass seed will be spread on the surface of the grave.  Headstones will full kerb sets or ledger stones are permitted.  The planting of annual plants is only permitted when contained within a kerb set; no other planting is allowed including trees or shrubs. 

Child’s grave: available at Cheltenham cemetery. Available on Section K7 or in the Woodland section

A child’s grave can only accommodate a coffin no larger than 4ft/ x 2½ft/

The baby memorial garden

Following a burial, grass seed will be spread on the surface of the grave.  Headstones will full kerb sets or ledger stones are permitted.  The planting of annual plants is only permitted when contained within a kerb set; no other planting is allowed including trees or shrubs. 

What is a Grave Deed?

If you decide to purchase the Exclusive Rights of Burial and to Erect a Memorial, Cheltenham Borough Council will issue you with a Grave Deed approximately two months after the purchase of said Rights.  It is an important document and should be kept in a safe place. We do not issue duplicate deeds if the original deed has been lost. Transfers and interments can be endorsed on the original deed although this is not essential as this information is recorded in our statutory registers.

What does ‘Rights of Burial and to Erect a Memorial’ mean?

The exclusive rights of burial and to erect a memorial is a lease on a grave but does not mean you own the land itself but have the exclusive rights for the duration of the lease to say who can be buried in the grave providing there is sufficient space.  A memorial can be erected and remain on the grave for the period of the lease.  The maximum number of owners of these rights per grave that the burial authority of Cheltenham Borough Council accepts is four at any time.

All grave owners have a legal right to be buried in the grave providing there is sufficient space.  If there is more than one grave owner and one owner passes away, the rights automatically go to the surviving owners, until the last surviving owner.  It is only at this point, that the Will comes into effect; therefore, no transfer of ownership can be made following the death of any of the previous owners, regardless of what is stated within their Will.  If the last grave owner passes away, they will retain the right to be buried in the grave, space permitting, but ownership must be transferred before the headstone can be put up or altered based on their Will or Letter of Administration.

Please click here for further details regarding the Rights and how to transfer said Rights.

Please note, the owners to the Rights are defined by those signing the purchase form, regardless of who has paid.

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