Burial Information and Fees

Regulations and Fees relating to the management of Goudhurst Burial Grounds

Goudhurst Parish Council is the statutory Burial Authority for the civil Parish of Goudhurst and has adopted these Regulations in accordance with the powers given to it by the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977.  

These Regulations apply from 01 September 2021 to 31 March 2023 . All enquiries and correspondence to the Clerk please.


Giving Notice. At least two working days’ notice of any proposed interment is to be given to the Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council (The Clerk).   

2.      Ownership. A Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial must be purchased before an interment will be authorised.  

3.      Notice of Interment and Fees. Before notice is accepted, a fully completed Notice of Interment form and all Fees and Charges, payable to Goudhurst Parish Council, must be received and accepted by the Clerk. Only the holder of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may issue burial instructions by signing the Notice of Interment.

4.     The Registrar’s Certificate for Burial or the Certificate of Cremation or the Coroner’s Order for Burial must be delivered to the Clerk prior to interment. 

5.      Permitted times for interments. No burial can take place before 10 am nor after sunset, nor on a Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday without special permission.

6.      The selection of the place of interment is in all cases subject to the approval of the Clerk, but the wishes of the parties will be met so far as may be deemed practicable.

7.      Burial in a grave. Only the holder of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may issue instructions relating to any interment in the relevant grave.

Graves shall be dug to a maximum of 9 ft (275 cm) by 4 ft (122 cm). Only wooden coffins to a maximum size of 6 ft 6 ins x 2 ft 2 ins are permitted. Lead lined or large American style coffins are not permitted.  

No grave shall be of a depth of less than 5 ft, or in the case of the interment of a child under six years, 4 ft. A maximum of two wooden coffins may be interred in a standard grave space.

8.      Earth on newly dug graves. No raised ground will be permitted on any grave, except when settlement is taking place for up to 1 year after an interment. It is the responsibility of the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial to allow a newly closed grave to settle naturally to become level with the surrounding turf. It is also the responsibility of the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial of a grave to ensure it is neatly turfed or re-turfed as necessary. The Clerk will be pleased to give advice and guidance.

9.      Items on Graves. The area on the west side of the Burial Grounds (on the right hand of the central driveway going down the slope) is designated as a lawn cemetery.

Floral tributes may be placed, but not planted, close to the relevant memorial on lawn graves and in the ashes interment areas. 

All items placed on the graves or ashes plots shall be subject to the approval of the Burial Authority which reserves the right to remove any that are not approved. Approval will not be given to trees, shrubs or other planted items, kerbing, wire netting, fencing, stones/gravel or kerb stones, toys, windmills, containers of drink and similar.

For the safety of grounds maintenance contractors and the general public, no glass containers are allowed on graves and ashes plots.

10.    Interment of ashes: Only the holder of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may issue instructions relating to an interment in the relevant ashes plot. 

Cremated remains for interment must be placed in a wooden or biodegradable container or interred loose at a depth of not less than 2ft. The scattering of cremated remains over the ground is not permitted. A maximum of two separate ashes interments shall be permitted in each purchased space in the ashes sections. 

Ashes may be interred in an earthen grave if space permits, subject to the permission of The Burial Authority. However, the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial must indicate on the Notice of Interment precisely where in the grave the ashes container will be interred.

11.     Metal objects. No metal objects of any kind are permitted below ground level in graves or ashes plots without prior permission.

12.    Grave Diggers. Only gravediggers approved by the Burial Authority may dig graves or the plots for the interment of cremated remains. 

Mechanical digging is not permitted without the permission of the Clerk.

13.    Transfer of Ownership. Holders of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may transfer the ownership of such right to relations by blood or marriage with the consent of the Burial Authority. All such transfers are to be duly registered at the expense of the applicant at such fee as may be determined from time to time. In the case of a dispute regarding the right to transfer, the decision of the Burial Authority shall be final.


14.    Memorials. Only the holder of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may apply for consent for any memorial at the relevant grave or ashes plot.

Applications including drawings showing dimensions of every memorial with a statement of the type of stone to be used, proposed position on the grave space, plus a copy of every inscription, shall be submitted to the Clerk for approval by the Burial Authority. No Memorial shall be introduced or placed in the Burial Grounds without such approval and until the relevant fee has been paid.

The Burial Authority reserves the right to remove any Memorial for which permission has not been granted or an approval fee paid.

On graves a memorial headstone, a cross or a plain wooden cross will be permitted. 

 A small inscription plaque may, subject to these Regulations, be attached to a wooden cross.

No headstone, cross or plain wooden cross when erected shall exceed 2 ft 6 ins in height, or 2 ft in width. New or replacement memorials at graves in the lawned area may not be installed flat on the ground. 

Photo plaques on Memorials are not permitted.

Memorial tablets in the ashes section shall not exceed 18 ins x 9 ins and must be laid in the gravel to leave the tablet proud by 1 inch or 3 cms all round.

The Burial Authority will not approve applications for new memorials or additional inscriptions on existing memorials unless the remains of the deceased person has been interred in the relevant grave or ashes plot.

In order to ensure that quality and safety standards are met, only Monumental Masons working to NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) specifications are authorised to introduce memorials at Goudhurst. 

15.    Ongoing Responsibility. Owners of memorials, ashes plots and graves shall keep them in good and safe condition. Please see paragraph 9. 

In the event that The Burial Authority reasonably considers that any memorial has become unsafe, it reserves the right to lay down or remove a memorial after making all reasonable efforts to contact the owner. The Burial Authority may take any action it sees fit to repair and tidy any grave that has fallen into disrepair, with the cost being charged to the holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial.

16.    Memorial Benches. There is only limited space available now on Goudhurst Parish Council land for memorial benches. For further details, please contact the Clerk. To maintain standards, we only consider approval of an application for the installation of a bench made by Memorial Benches UK of Ticehurst. The owner of a new bench will be responsible for the cost of its installation to match existing benches.

Goudhurst Parish Council reserves the right to remove any bench that is not maintained in good condition.

An administration fee for granting approval for the installation of a memorial bench on Parish Council land is due to the Burial Authority.

17.    Insurance. The Burial Authority strongly recommends that grave owners take out insurance to cover damage to their memorials and benches.

18.    These Regulations may be varied or waived at the sole discretion of the Burial Authority.


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