Frequently asked questions about burials and cremations

Some of the questions that are regularly asked about burials and cremations.


Why are graves dug so deep?
The grave must be deep enough to allow for the depth of coffins/caskets that are buried but also to accommodate legal requirements and any future burials in that grave.

Are graves filled in straight after a funeral?
The grave is filled immediately after mourners have left the graveside.

Can people wait while the grave is filled in?
Yes. When families want this, we need to be made aware when the burial is first arranged.

Can anyone witness the grave being filled?
Yes, so long as we are notified in advance.

I have a lawn grave. When will I be able to put a memorial onto it?
Almost immediately. Most of our lawn sections have concrete grips that the headstone sits on, so there is no waiting for settlement.

Why have I only been sold the grave for a set period of time?
Legally, graves cannot be sold for more than 100 years. However, we write to owners every five years offering the opportunity to ‘top-up’ their lease. In this manner, the grave can stay in the family indefinitely, though ownership will never be issued beyond 75 years.

What happens when the lease expires, on a new grave for 50 or 75 years?
When you buy a grave you purchase the rights of burial in that grave for a set period of time. If the lease is not renewed, the burial rights will run out.

What happens when the lease expires on old graves for 100 years?
The grave then becomes the responsibility and property of Doncaster Council.

What happens if / when all the owners have died?
Ownership of the right of burial in a grave can be transferred from a deceased owner via their estate. Each case is examined individually and can be highly complex. If you need to transfer ownership when all owners are deceased, contact us.

Why can’t I have what I want on the grave?
When a new grave is purchased it is not the ownership of the land itself that is purchased, but the rights to have burials take place. These rights are granted, together with the rights to erect a memorial on the grave, in accordance with the rules and regulations of the cemetery.


What happens to cremation ashes?
In 80 per cent of cases, cremation ashes are strewn or buried in the gardens of remembrance or placed in a cremated remains plot or existing grave. When ashes are strewn elsewhere, prior permission must be sought and any local rules regulations obeyed.

What are the gardens of remembrance?
The gardens consist of areas set aside for the disposal of cremation ashes. Usually these areas have been dedicated for the purpose by representatives of the Christian churches. No spot is reserved to any one person, nor are individual memorials permitted to mark the spot.

Does cremation take place immediately?
Usually, cremation will follow immediately after the service. If this isn't possible, cremation will take place no more than 72 hours after the coffin was received at the crematorium.

Is the coffin cremated with the body?
Yes. The coffin is placed into the cremator exactly as it was received.

What happens to any jewellery on the deceased?
If the deceased has any jewellery, it should be removed unless it is intended that it should be cremated. There is no way of recovering such an item once the crematorium has received the coffin.

Can more than one body be cremated at the same time?
All coffins are cremated individually, with the exception of mother and baby or twin children providing that the next of kin has made a specific request in this regard.

Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator?
Yes. Normally two persons are permitted to attend. Please advise us in advance of this wish.

How do I know I shall get the right cremation ashes?
Each coffin is identified on arrival and the identity card is placed on the outside of the cremator as soon as the coffin is placed into it. The card stays there until the ashes are removed and it is then transferred to the cooling tray. As each cremator will only accept one coffin and the ashes must be withdrawn before it is used again, all cremation ashes are kept separate throughout the process.

What does preparation of ashes entail?
When the cremation is complete, the ashes are placed into a cooling tray. Cooling is often accelerated by a fan blower. Once cool, magnets remove ferrous metals, and non-ferrous metals are cleared and disposed of. The remaining ashes are then placed into a machine which reduces the remains to a fine white ash.

Can I keep the cremation ashes if I want to?
Yes. You may do as you wish with the ashes.

If I wanted to know more about cremation and perhaps inspect a crematorium, how should I go about it?
Contact us. We will be pleased to answer your queries and conduct you through the crematorium to see how it is operated.

For further information, please contact us: 

Last updated: 20 December 2016 12:15:25