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1. Burial options

Dealing with a bereavement can be a difficult and emotional time. Our bereavement services team are here to help you with your enquiries and arrangements.

Lawn Graves

Full burials take place in graves, which are laid out in a regular pattern within the Cemeteries. A grave may either be un-purchased, which means that the rights to it remain with the Council, or purchased, which means that the right to bury in the grave are transferred to the owner.

The ownership of the land does not transfer – the Council owns all the land within the Cemeteries.

Bereavement Services staff will prepare the grave for burial, and once the mourners have left, the grave will be back-filled and re-instated with turf or grass seed, depending on the season. Any floral tributes will be placed respectfully back on the grave but removed after a month.

The grave will be checked at this point and again six months following the burial, and will be topped up and re-turfed or seeded if necessary (depending on the season). Headstones can be erected at this time having given the soil time to settle. The grave will be maintained as part of the general maintenance of the Cemetery.

Only one burial can be accommodated per grave at Higher, up to two full burials in Exwick and three at Topsham Cemetery.

In addition, is it possible for up to six sets of cremated remains to be buried in each full grave, thereby extending the life of the grave for future generations.

Gardens of Remembrance

A more affordable alternative for cremated remains is to purchase a section in one of our Gardens of Remembrance at either Higher or Exwick Cemetery. With a choice in both the size and style of the plot, as well as the memorial you choose to erect on top, this has become a very popular choice for people in recent years who still want a personalised and dedicated spot for their loved one to be laid to rest, without having to purchase a full lawn grave. This plots can either hold two or four sets of ashes. We also now offer the option, after expanding the Garden of Remembrance in Higher Cemetery, of having one of the trees or flower boarders around the edge of the area dedicated to a lost loved one, with a personalised plaque planted alongside to mark their memory. Ashes may also be scattered in the wild flower area at the bottom of the Garden.

Individual ashes burials can also take place at Topsham Cemetery with the option of a tablet memorial being placed on top.