What is the Exclusive Right of Burial and does this mean I own the land?

 

No.  You have purchased the Exclusive Right of Burial in the piece of land called the grave space.  The ownership of the land remains with Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.  Exclusive Right of Burial in a local authority cemetery legally cannot exceed 100 years. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council currently provide between 10 and 75 years dependent on the plot type.

Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will issue The Exclusive Right of Burial following the first burial in a grave space once all fees have been paid. The Council maintains records of all registered holders of the Exclusive Right of Burial and the registered holder is the only person who can arrange to place a memorial on a grave. It is essential that any changes to the registered holder are notified to The Council as it may be necessary to transfer the Exclusive Right of Burial to another person or persons, for example on the death of the grant holder.

For more information see our page on Transfer of Exclusive Rights of Burial.

 


Why is the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial only for a set period of Time? I want the grave forever!

The law stipulates that graves cannot be sold for more than 100 years. The law does permit grant of ownership to be extended so the grave can stay in the family for as long as you wish.  This is done at the end of the license period by your decedents/family.

It is important that the owner of the exclusive right of burial informs us of any changes of address otherwise correspondence of renewal will not be received. 

Should you not wish to renew the license or cannot be contacted by us, then we can lawfully remove any memorial after giving a set period of notice for you to remove the memorial yourself.  If you decide to renew the lease this will be on condition that the memorial receives a full inspection and stability test and any defects found are repaired.

 For more information see our page on Transfer of Exclusive Rights of Burial

 


I own the grave - can anyone else be buried in it if I don't want them to?

No.  Graves cannot be opened without the permission in writing of the registered owner.  The only exception to this is where the burial is to be that of the registered owner in which no written authority is required.  The law protects your rights as a registered owner of the grave.

For more information see our page on Transfer of Exclusive Rights of Burial

 


I am told the grave is full but now I want to another burial?

There are legal requirements such as how much earth must be left on top of the last coffin which dictates the depths of graves.  In some instances we can provide a grave sleeve which will enable a grave to be prepared at a shallower depth within the constraints of the law.

 


What if the Holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial is Deceased?

If the registered holder is deceased, the Exclusive Right of Burial Grant must be transferred before any burial (other than that of the registered holder) or memorial application can be approved.

For more information see our page on Transfer of Exclusive Rights of Burial

 


When can Funerals take place?

Funerals can take place weekdays at 11am and 2pm, depending on availability. Services for cremated remains can be held at 11am 12.30pm or 2pm.

For our current availability please visit Booking a funeral

 


What types of graves are available?

Welwyn Hatfield Lawn Cemetery offers Lawn Style graves for the facilitation of coffin burials.

There are a variety of burial options available for cremated remains available at both Hatfield Hyde and The Lawn Cemetery. Our  Icon for pdf Cemetery Brochure provides full details of what is available 

 


What are the options for Islamic Faith Burials?

A section of the Lawn Cemetery was designed with the local Muslim community to provide burial spaces which complied with the Islamic teachings. These graves are aligned perpendicular to the Qibla (Mecca).  

 


Would I be able to have a funeral service in the Welwyn Hatfield Lawn Cemetery?

Yes. You can hire the chapel for services. It seats up to 60 Mourners, is non-denominational so it is suitable for non-religious ceremonies.  

 


Why are graves dug so deep? (it is distressing to see the coffin go down so deep)

Graves have to be dug to a sufficient depth to allow for future burials to take place should a family require more than one burial in a grave.  Therefore the grave needs to be deep enough to allow not only for the depth of coffins/caskets that will be buried but also to accommodate legal requirements of undisturbed earth to be between each coffin and the amount of earth that must cover the last interment.

 


Are graves filled in straight after a funeral or are they left to the next day?

Following a funeral, once mourners have departed we immediately commence the backfilling of the grave and make the area tidy.  This work is completed on the day of the burial and coffins are not left uncovered overnight.

 


I understand that some people wait while the grave is filled in.  Why is this?

Some cultures require that the grave is filled in while the family watch or they may wish to undertake the backfilling of the grave themselves.  When families want this it is essential that we are made aware of their requirements when the burial is first arranged.  This will ensure that the families' wishes are met and that their safety is protected during the backfilling process.

 


How will the grave be maintained?

We will remove and dispose of floral tributes placed on a grave as soon as they have withered.

We will also regularly place topsoil on the grave until it has settled.  The plot will then be renovated, seeded and mown on a regular basis.  There is no extra charge for maintenance.

 


Do you provide a headstone cleaning service?

No.  However we can provide a list of National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) approved memorial Masons who offer such a service.

 


I have a Lawn Grave.  Why can't I put anything on the grassed area?

Welwyn Hatfield Lawn Cemetery was designed to only have an upright headstone place on predetermined concrete plinths at the head of the grave.  These graves were sold on the understanding that memorials will only be erected on the concrete plinth provided.  Any Item which protrudes from the concrete plinth may be removed by the council without providing any notice. Full details of what can and cannot be placed on a grave is detailed in our Icon for pdf Full rules and regulations or in the Icon for pdf Lawn Cemetery rules and regs

 


Who is responsible for the memorial?

The deed holders is responsible for the maintenance and safety of the memorial. Stability testing is conducted every 5 years.

Please see our page on Memorial stability testing for more information

Your memorial mason also has a responsibility to provide a memorial of merchantable quality and to erect it in a safe manner.  You should insist that the memorial is erected in accordance with British Standard 8415 and the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM)  Recommended code of practice and seek a guarantee of conformity from your memorial mason. 

 


What is a memorial permit and why is it needed?

Prior to a memorial being erected on a grave space, the written authority of the owner of the grave must be given on a Icon for pdf Memorial Permits, authorising the proposed erection of the memorial.  Memorials need to conform to cemetery Icon for pdf Full rules and regulations with regard to size and fixings, and the memorial also needs to be checked for stability under health and safety regulations.   You may ask your memorial mason for a workmanship guarantee or in fact details of insurance. 

 


Do you provide a headstone cleaning or insurance service?

No.  Please check directly with your stonemason or contact one of the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM)

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Changes to fees - April 2019

The Council undertook a complete review of the fees by comparing our fees with those of other Council run cemeteries in Hertfordshire.  The Council have taken the average fees from the County.

The main areas to note are as follows

  1. Burial fees and grant fees have been split by coffin size.  For larger coffins we may need to allocate a 1.5 plot and also shore the grave.  There is no longer a separate fee for shoring and we now have a dedicated area for 1.5 plots.

  2. Children's grave - there will be no fees for burials of children under the age of 18 who live within the borough.  We will be watching closely the development of the Children Funeral Fund for England and if there are changes will keep you all informed  

  3. The prices are now shown for residents and non-residents.  As before,  every burial or internment of ashes MUST provide proof of residence in the borough.  The first burial determines the costings for all future burials.  Non-resident fees are not tripled for mausoleums and the majority of Miscellaneous Fees

  4. We now have a defined fee for interment of a second set of ashes at the same time as another or for ashes to be placed within a coffin.