Information and advice for grave owners

Keep your grave deed in a safe place

When you purchase a private grave you are issued with a deed granting you the exclusive right of burial. Please note that this deed does not give you ownership of the land, only the right of burial.

The grave deed must be produced whenever the grave is required to be opened for an interment. The loss of the deed could cause you delay and inconvenience at this time so keep it safe with other important documents.

When the grave has to be re-opened for an interment give the grave deed to your funeral director who will make all the arrangements for you. Make sure the deed is returned to you after the funeral. Remember if anyone else holds the grave deed they may have the grave opened for an interment, so keep the deed safe.

If you do lose it then contact Bury Cemetery Office where you may obtain advice on the necessary procedure.

Grave ownership

The person whose name appears on the deed as the purchaser of the exclusive right (registered grave owner) is the only person who can authorise, for example, the erection of a memorial or the cutting of an inscription. When the registered owner dies the deed passes to the executors or the next of kin. The registered owner can transfer the title to the grave to another person. Such transfers are not valid unless registered with the cemetery office.

This allows us to contact the current registered owner if needed.

Capacity of a private grave

A private grave will normally hold four adult interments but no guarantee in this connection can be given. The reason for this is that conditions vary from time to time and from place to place in a cemetery, and there are other variable factors that can affect the capacity of a grave. The capacity is not affected by the burial of small caskets containing cremated remains.

Please note that when a grave is opened for an interment to take place, the soil from this grave will have to be placed on the adjacent graves. The inconvenience to people visiting these graves is unavoidable, but temporary. Staff will place boards on the nearby graves to protect them and to protect monuments and gardened graves. However, the contractor cannot be held responsible for unavoidable damage to the gardened graves.

Gardened graves

Graves may now be gardened up to a maximum of 1m x 1m immediately in front of the headstone, subject to the grave being maintained at all times.

Planting of trees, conifers or shrubs in gardened graves is prohibited.

If any kerbstones of any description are placed around the grave these are entirely at the owners risk. The cemetery staff are not responsible for the maintenance around these kerbs. If your grave or an adjoining grave is to be opened it is the owners responsibility to have the kerbstones and, if requested, the headstone removed and replaced to the current safety standard.


Memorials must be erected in neat lines or placed on the concrete foundation when these are available. There are certain regulations governing the size and construction of memorials and the materials from which they are made which will be explained to you by your monumental mason. All new memorials in the cemeteries must be fitted by a stonemason registered by Bury Council. A list is available in the cemetery office.

A permission fee has to be paid to the Council for all monuments brought into the cemetery. Your monumental mason will have to pay these fees, so check whether he has included these charges when prices are quoted to you.

Please do not place glass vases on the grave as this material, along with ceramics, wirework and plastic fences and surrounds is not allowed (on the grounds of appearance and safety) and would have to be removed.

Flower containers must be positioned close to memorials and not on the grave itself as they could be damaged by the mowing machinery.

Remember that memorials and flower holders remain on graves entirely at the owner's sole risk and the Council cannot accept responsibility for damage, however caused. Owners of monuments are responsible for keeping them in repair and good order. The Council reserves the right to remove monuments which are considered to be unsafe. A safety check will be carried out on an annual basis by officers trained to Health and Safety standards.

Visiting the cemetery

Friends or relatives who wish to visit the grave may not be able to find it without the grave reference number shown on your grave deed. Make a note of the grave number to take with you when you visit the cemetery. Cemetery staff will then be able to help you if you have difficulties. A map is available at the cemetery gates and all plots are to have markers.

Under no circumstances should you give money to someone who approaches you in the cemetery grounds with an offer to supply a memorial or do work on the grave. No reputable mason would canvass for work in such a manner and all other work should be paid for at the cemetery office where you will be issued with an official receipt. Only registered stonemasons are allowed to operate in the cemeteries.

It is not permitted for bicycles to be ridden in the cemetery and dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. Any person in charge of a dog must remove faeces deposited by the dog from any area in the cemetery.

Cemetery regulations

This page forms only part of the Cemetery regulations.


If you have any complaints regarding grass cutting or general maintenance within the cemetery, please contact our Customer Contact Team.

Write to or visit: Town Hall reception, Knowsley Street, Bury, BL9 0SW.
Phone: 0161 253 5353.
Online: Grass cutting.


For all cemetery enquiries (including Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom) write to or visit: Bury Cemetery Office, St Peters Road, Bury BL9 9RL.

Office opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.
Phone: 0161 253 6510.
Fax: 0161 253 5532.

If the office staff are unable to take your call you can leave a message including your name and telephone number and we will call you back as soon as possible.

All written communications in connection with your grave should be addressed to: The Cemetery Registrar, Bury Cemetery, St Peters Road, Bury BL9 9RL.

Please quote the grave reference on all correspondence. The office is closed at weekends and whenever staff are attending funerals at other cemeteries.

If you require advice on any matter in connection with your grave or concerning the cemetery, the office staff will be pleased to assist you.

Cemetery opening times (vehicular access)

  • Summer times:
    • Weekdays:
      • Bury - 8am to dusk
      • Radcliffe - 8am to dusk
      • Ramsbottom - 8am to dusk
    • Weekends:
      • Bury - 9am to dusk
      • Radcliffe - 9am to dusk
      • Ramsbottom - Closed
  • Winter times:
    • Weekdays:
      • Bury - 8am to 5pm
      • Radcliffe - 8am to 5pm
      • Ramsbottom - 8am to 5pm
    • Weekends:
      • Bury - 9am to dusk
      • Radcliffe - 9am to dusk
      • Ramsbottom - Closed

Visitors on foot can gain entry to the cemeteries at any time.

Bury Cemetery, St Peter's Road, Bury BL9 9RL.
Phone: 0161 253 6510.
Fax: 0161 253 5532.

Radcliffe Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Radcliffe.
Ramsbottom Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Ramsbottom.