Making Funeral arrangements

Arranging a burial

We have two cemeteries

Kingston Cemetery at Bonner Hill Road 

Surbiton Cemetery at Lower Marsh Lane.

Each cemetery provides a serene and dignified setting for you to say goodbye to a loved one, with beautiful memorial gardens and an abundance of wildlife,

Specific forms need to be completed before a burial can take place, including an 'Order for an Interment'. Our Bereavement Services Team will support you in completing these.

We provide a variety of grave options at our cemeteries. We can talk through the choices with you to decide what is best. Graves are sold for a 75 year renewable period. We also offer burial for two people.

We have provided details on the types of graves available and things to consider when choosing from burial and memorial options.

Lawn Graves

These are situated on lawns with a slabbed/concrete section at the head where a vase or headstone can be placed (the vase or headstone must be a maximum of 3 feet in height including its base).

Traditional Graves

These offer a greater choice in the size and design of the memorial. The memorial/grave area must be maintained by the grave owner. A large memorial up to five feet in height (including its base) can be placed within the grave area. Kerbs can be used to surround the grave leaving an area to be filled with decorative chippings, stone or lawn. This is the least expensive burial option, with a recycled grave you only pay the interment (burial) fee.

Recycled Graves

This grave is not private and there will be no memorial. The person who has died may be buried with non-related previous or subsequent burials. An inexpensive biodegradable coffin must be used with recycled graves and space for a second burial cannot be reserved. There are two options; cemetary graves and woodland graves.

Recycled cemetery graves

There are many old graves owned by the borough and last used for burial in Victorian and Edwardian times. These are now used for the burial of those who do not want a private grave or a memorial upon the grave.

Recycled woodland graves

These graves often have long grass which provides habitat for wildlife. Following the last burial in a woodland grave a young native tree is planted at the appropriate time of year. No memorial is permitted as the tree is a living memorial.

Graves for children

Kingston Cemetery provides graves for babies or children.

Babies may have an individual grave in Kingston Cemetery where teddy bears and similar items can be placed.

There are two options for memorials (headstones):

  • a slab can be placed at the head of the grave on which a memorial can be placed (a maximum height of 2ft 10 inches)
  • or a traditional memorial may be placed including headstone, kerbs and cover slab or decorative chippings within the kerb stones (headstone size - height: 2ft 10 inches, width: 2ft, length: 4ft).  

For older children traditional graves are available within the section, allowing for a memorial headstone and kerb set (headstone size - height: 3ft, width: 2ft 6 inches, length: 5ft).

Children may have a grave in the Kingston children's section or placed within a 'family' lawn or traditional grave at either Kingston or Surbiton Cemetery.

When choosing from burial options

  • Graves are offered within a specified area which is covered by detailed grave plans and a precise grave numbering system.
  • A register of all purchases and burials is maintained and available for inspection.
  • A Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial (title deed) is issued for each purchase, setting out details of the grave owner, the cemetery, burial section, individual grave number and period of grant. Please inform us when you change address so we can maintain accurate records and contact you if needs be.
  • Where you are not the grave owner it is unlawful to open the grave or scatter remains upon it without the written consent of the owner. The possession of the title deed does not, in itself, mean a person has the right of burial in a grave. If the grave owner is deceased then a new owner will have to be registered. Please let us know if you need help with this process.

When placing memorials on a grave space

  • Memorial works can only be carried out with the written consent of the Registered Owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial. Your stonemason will provide the necessary form for you to sign. All information will be checked prior to issuing a permit for the work.
  • Memorials need to be fixed securely and follow the approved fixing methods of the National Association of Memorial Masons. If the mason does not follow the approved method we will not allow them to work in our cemeteries.
  • We have a list of masons who have agreed to follow the guidance of the National Association of Memorial Masons and are approved to work within our cemeteries. The approved mason list is available on request.
  • We recommend you seek quotations from a variety of masons before purchasing a memorial (gravestone or memorial plaque).
  • As the grave owner is responsible for memorial safety and repairs (including those incurred through vandalism) you may like to consider insuring your memorial.
  • Memorials should be checked regularly. Most stonemasons will be pleased to inspect your memorial and produce a free quotation for renovation work if required.
  • If you are not the grave owner you may still be able to arrange for necessary works to be carried out to ensure that the memorial on the grave you visit will be safe.
  • If a memorial is proven to be damaged by us - perhaps due to grass cutting, grave digging or other ground works - we will make amends and repair the memorial.

Other crematoria and cemeteries

You can view a directory of all cemeteries and crematoria in the UK on the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management’s website.

Last Modified: 28/04/2022 15:34:04