We care for four cemeteries. If burial is your preferred choice, new graves are available in Upminster and Romford. Burials can take place in existing family graves in all our cemeteries.

If you are arranging the burial of a loved one your funeral director will help you:

  • choose the type of grave/cemetery
  • book a date and time for the funeral
  • arrange an appointment to select the grave if you are buying a new grave (a fee applies) as well as a follow up appointment in our office at South Essex Crematorium to complete the paperwork
  • decide who will lead your service
  • consider the range of music and audio visual options available

Types of Graves

Type of Grave Lawn Traditional Walled Children's Mini-Headstone Cremated Remains Plots Traditional Cremated Remains Plots
Memorial Dimension Headstone:
high x 2’6”wide
from front of headstone
vary dependant on cemetery
vary dependant on cemetery, The
interior is bricked –requires the purchase of two, Traditional
3’ high x 2’wide Base: 4’ length x 2’ wide
2’ high x 1’ wide,Base:
2’wide with two granite vases 6”x6”x6”,Garden
wide and 12” from the base of the headstone
quarter of a group of flat granite tablets.,A granite vase available
as optional extra.
No. Years on Lease 50 50 50 50 25 25
No. Interments 2 Full Burials,

Up to 6 caskets of cremated remains

2 Full Burials,

Up to 6 caskets of cremated remains

2 Full Burials,

Up to 6 caskets of cremated remains

- Up to 4 caskets of cremated remains Up to 4 caskets of cremated remains
Memorial Stone Purchased
from South Essex Crematorium
- - - - ✔
Room for up to 4 standard inscriptions,
60,characters each,
Silver,lettering, capitalized,
Front,of each granite vase available for inscription,
Photo,plaques optional extra
Room for up to 4 standard inscriptions,
In,Memory of / Treasured Memories of / Cherished Memories of,
Name,,age, date of death
third full interment (requested
at the time of the first burial)
Dependant on digging conditions
Dependant on digging conditions
Dependant on digging conditions
to select (fee
✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
may select foc (availability
✔ ✔
Hornchurch - - - - ✔ very
limited availability
Rainham - - - - ✔  very
limited availability
Romford ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ very
limited availability
Upminster ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ very
limited availability

When you purchase a grave you buy the right to have:

  • two full burials.
  • up to six caskets of cremated remains, only once the first interment has taken place, (unless the grave was purchased before July 2011)
  • a possible third full burial (when the first burial takes place you can ask us to bury at an extra depth. This is always subject to digging conditions at the time and there will be an additional fee.)

You should consider carefully the type of grave you want since they are set out in sections and cannot be changed in situ. The only way to change the type of grave you own, once burial has taken place, is to apply for an exhumation.

Lawn Graves allow you to place a headstone and to use the 18” in front of it as a small garden area if you wish but you cannot have memorial tablets/stones/fencing the entire length of the burial plot.

Traditional Graves allow you to place a memorial over the entire length of the burial plot.

Walled Graves allow you to:

  • create a chamber for the coffin so that it is not laid in the earth
  • place a larger memorial than would be possible on a traditional grave

You need to buy two traditional graves to create a walled grave and there is also the additional cost of the internal structure.

Children’s Graves are:

  • in dedicated areas
  • only available for children’s burials
  • dug at single depth

Adult cremated remains may be placed within a children’s grave however, an adult may not be recorded on the headstone. If you wish to be buried with your child eventually, you may want to consider burial in a lawn or traditional grave.

Mini-Headstone Cremated Remains Plots are placed in a continuous row and the area in front is laid to lawn in which four caskets of cremated remains may be laid to rest. The lease and the memorial are purchased from South Essex Crematorium


Mini hs in a row

On Private Land

Not all funeral directors will be willing to help with this but you can of course arrange your own funeral.

It is perfectly legal to bury someone:

  • in a garden
  • on private land


  • you own the land
  • you have the owner’s permission
  • that there is no covenant on the land that would prevent a burial
  • you have checked to see if any mortgage contract requires permission of the lender

Planning permission is not required, however it would be if the burial was to constitute a change of use; if there were to be several burials. You will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect a permanent memorial.

You will need to inform:

  •  the police
  •  the Environment Agency
  •  your local Environmental Health department to be sure that the burial will not pollute a water course

You will not be allowed to bury:

  •  in waterlogged ground
  •  within 10 metres of a drain, ditch or watercourse
  •  within 50 metres of well or borehole
  •  close to gas,water or electrical services

Preparing a grave is a skilled and dangerous task. You should ensure that:

  •  a minimum of 1 meter of soil will cover the coffin
  •  extra precautions are taken if the cause of death was an infectious disease
  •  the grave is dug safely,which usually requires shoring up the sides as you dig

Before you can bury you will need a certificate for burial from a coroner or registrar

Following the burial you must:

  •  fill out and return the tear-off section
  •  keep a register of burials. (This may be a simply notebook in which the name and age of deceased and the date and place of death are recorded together with a plan to show where the burial took place.)

To consider carefully:

  •  you may wish to record the burial on the property deeds.
  •  whilst it will save you the considerable cost of burial, the value of your property may decrease by 20-30%
  •  once a burial has been recorded on the property the body may only be moved by applying for an exhumation licence from the Ministry of Justice
  •  if you move, access to the burial plot will be restricted

Buying a Grave

If you have lost a loved one and would like to purchase a grave, we can either allocate you a burial plot or you can make an appointment to meet one of our staff to select a plot. You will need to book the burial date first, either via your funeral director, or yourself, in the case of a family arranged burial.

You may wish to purchase a grave in order to plan for the future. This can form part of a Pre- Paid Funeral Plan to cover the cost of the grave, the burial and the services of funeral professionals or, you may simply wish to buy a burial plot in advance.

Maintaining a Grave

As the owner, you are responsible for:

  • the safe installation
  • maintenance
  • remedial work on your memorial

When the mason has completed the installation he will:

  • detach a slip from the bottom of the permit and return it to the office at South Essex Crematorium

, We will:

  • check the memorial to ensure that the work requested is correct and that it meets NAMM and Bristish Standard Institution (BSI) standards
  • contact the mason and ask him/her to return and complete the work if there are any problems
  • update the grave record
  • write to you to confirm the safety status of the memorial
  • test the stability of the memorial periodically under our Duty of Care and will inform you if remedial work is necessary
  • regularly maintain the grass area outside of your memorial. (During the growing season we aim to mow the lawn twice a month and to strim around memorials monthly)
  • periodically carry out memorial safety inspections
  • place yellow warning triangles on unsafe memorials and inform the owner they need to contact a memorial mason to make the memorial safe
  • take minimal steps to make safe a memorial within six months of placing the triangle if we cannot contact the owner

You can download further information on how we test memorials, and what to do if your family's memorial has failed, as well as our list of Approved Memorial Masons.

Transferring the Ownership of a Burial Plot

If you own a burial plot and wish to transfer the ownership to a named person you may apply here, a fee will apply.

When the owner of a grave is deceased the transfer of ownership will need to take place so that there is a living owner who may apply for permission to erect a headstone or to add an inscription to an existing memorial and to authorise any future burials.

How do I do this?
Our Cemetery Rules and Regulations only allow a single owner; if there is more than one executor, administrator or next of kin we require that one (or more) assign their rights to one person only.
There will be a fee to transfer the ownership of a burial plot. This will be dependent on the method used and whether the new owner is a resident of London Borough Of Havering.

We follow Best Practice as set out by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) in order to ensure that transfer is legal and sound. The procedure will vary depending on the circumstances.

Following the interment, if the deceased leaves a Will the executor(s) will be entitled to become the grave owner or to assign the ownership to a more appropriate person, normally the nearest surviving next of kin.
The executor(s) will usually need to apply for a Grant of Probate. Once this is granted we will need to see an original Grant of Probate(not a photocopy) or a certified office copy.
You can find out whether Probate was sought here https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

If the deceased leaves a Will but their estate is small enough that the executors are not obliged to seek a Grant of Probate, we will transfer the ownership by drawing up a Statutory Declaration that will

  • state that the executor(s) of the Will are entitled to the ownership
  • name the executor(s) who is (are) renouncing their rights, if appropriate

The proposed owner will

  • take the Statutory Declaration to a Commissioner of Oaths, together with any Renunciation of Rights signed by the other executor(s)
  • swear that they are the rightful owner
  • ensure the Declaration is witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths who will sign it and place their official stamp on the document

Once that is returned to us we will complete the transfer. If the Executor(s) does/do not want to be the owner, the Declaration can be drawn up to allow them to assign their rights to a person of their choosing.

If the deceased has made no Will the family may need to apply for Letters of Administration. This means that the Court will appoint someone, usually the next of kin, to be responsible for administering the estate. As in the case of an executor, they will be entitled to become the grave owner or to assign the ownership to an appropriate person. In this case we will need to see the Letters of Administration.
You can find out whether Letters of Administration were sought here https://www.gov.uk/search-will- probate

If the deceased does not leave a Will and the family is not required to apply for Letters of Administration, we will transfer the ownership by drawing up a Statutory Declaration that will:

  • state that the nearest surviving next of kin are entitled to the ownership
  • name anyone who is renouncing their rights, if appropriate.

The proposed owner will:

  • take the Statutory Declaration to a Commissioner of Oaths, together with renunciation of rights signed by any other nearest surviving next of kin named on the Decalaration
  • swear that they are the rightful owner
  • ensure the Declaration is witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths who will sign it and place their official stamp on the document

Once that is returned to us we will complete the transfer.

Downloads / Other useful documents:

Assignment of Exclusive Rights of Burial