Eric F. Box Funeral Directors

Celebrating remarkable lives with memorable funerals


A body can be buried in a local authority or privately owned cemetery (for example a cemetery owned by a parish council), or in a Churchyard.

Local Authority Cemetery

Anyone can be buried in a local authority cemetery, which will sometimes be divided into sections for different faiths and those of no faith. Local Authorities allow the purchase of the Exclusive Right of Burial in a grave, normally for a period of between 25 and 100 years.

They also fix their own schedule of fees. There is one for the purchase of the grave, called the Exclusive Right of Burial, and one for the interment. These are sometimes doubled in the case of anyone who did not live in the borough.

If a Common grave is required there is no fee for Exclusive Right of Burial. The Local Authority can open these graves at any time for burial of an unrelated person, and normally no form of memorial is erected.

Most local authority cemeteries have rules regarding the erection of memorials. Before any memorial work can proceed, the registered owner of the grave must usually sign an application form showing the material, dimensions, design and inscription desired. So long as these conform to regulations, funeral directors are issued with a permit to carry out the work. Eric F. Box would organise the necessary paperwork on your behalf. There is normally a fee payable to the Local Authority for granting permission.

Some families already have a grave in a local authority cemetery and, if there is room, it can be re-opened for subsequent burials.

If there is no grave, one can be purchased. Often a new grave is dug with space to allow for one, two or three further interments. This needs to be stipulated at the time of purchase. After burial a grave deed is issued or, in the case of re-opening an existing grave, amended and returned.

Privately Owned Cemeteries

The majority are run as commercial enterprises and usually operate in much the same way as those run by local authorities.


Burial in a churchyard is open to all members of the parish living within its boundaries, and to those who have died within the parish or are on the church electoral role. An existing grave can be re-opened if there is room, or a new one prepared.

Although fees are charged, no grave deed is issued as ownership of the grave remains with the Church authorities.

Memorials are governed by strict guidelines laid down by the Diocese although, in practice, it is normally left to the Incumbent (Minister) of the churchyard to decide what is acceptable, and interpretation of set down church guidelines can vary widely. For this reason we suggest that you check with Eric F. Box as to what will and will not be allowed, before you make any decisions.

Most churchyards will permit ‘natural’ stones – slate, portland, york, nabresina, hopton wood and grey granites with eggshell, rubbed, sawn or rustic finishes. Equally they will NOT allow marble, polished granite, ceramic photo-plaques, heart-shaped or book shaped headstones and carved figures.

Some churchyards have specific cremated remains plots and lawn sections. Before proceeding with any memorial work we always write to the Minister for permission. There is normally a fee payable to the Church for this.