Types of graves available

Barrow Borough Council manages three cemeteries. Barrow Cemetery opened in 1872, Dalton in 1860 and Ireleth in 1951. All three cemeteries have sufficient space for new burials and graves for up to three interments can be purchased; these graves are now for one hundred years as opposed to the early graves, which were in perpetuity.

With the exception of woodland graves new graves can be dug for up to three interments to allow family members to eventually be interred together. It is possible to choose a grave for interment and also purchase a grave in advance; please contact the cemetery office to arrange an appointment.

Grave Types

The Council offers the following graves:

Full sized graves for up to 3 interments

Cremation graves for up to 4 caskets

Woodland graves (Barrow) for 1 interment only

Traditional  Graves - All three cemeteries

These graves are situated on lawned areas; the only memorials permitted are headstones, kerbs  and vases. The aim is to be able to strim the grass without restrictions; therefore any planting of the grave is at the head of the grave in an 18" x 12" border. The placing of fences and surrounds by the family are no longer permitted, but kerbstones supplied and fixed by a stonemason are acceptable.

A section at Barrow and Dalton has a concrete plinth on which to place the headstone.

It must be stressed that any mementoes or keepsakes placed on the graves by families are at the owners risk. The Council do not accept liability for any missing items.

Woodland Graves - Barrow and Dalton

This type of burial consists of a single grave. After the interment and the grave has settled, instead of placing a memorial on the grave, a tree is planted. The area is only cut three times a year to encourage wild flowers, grasses and wildlife. It should be stated that this is not a suitable choice for people who prefer a neat, tidy appearance.

The concept is that once the trees have matured the area will form a small woodland, and this is aimed at people who wish to help the environment. Any natural woodland tree can be planted on the graves and if you have a preference, please indicate at the time of purchase or the funeral.

Baby Graves - Barrow

A small section has been provided for the burial of infants, stillborn babies and foetal remains. These graves allow families to inter babies in individual graves and have a short service. Afterwards a small memorial and toys, etc. can be placed on the grave.  Kerbstones, supplied and fixed by a stonemason, are also permitted.

This section is also used where families do not wish to be involved with the interment. In these instances a number of individual coffins may be placed in a single grave and the hospital chaplain takes a short service.

Cremated Remains - Barrow and Dalton

Please see cremation section.

Funeral Flowers

Any funeral flowers will be left on any grave for up to two weeks after the funeral depending on weather conditions. If you want flowers to be left undisturbed please inform the Cemetery Office and we will ensure that the flowers are not removed.

Exclusive Rights of Burial

When a burial takes place in a new grave, or a grave is sold in advance, then you will receive a signed and sealed grave deed. This allows the person named on the deed to say who can be interred in the grave or to place a memorial on the grave.  You are not purchasing the grave as the land remains in ownership of the Council.

It is possible to purchase the rights to a grave in advance.

When the grave is reopened, the person named on the deeds must give their written consent to the cemetery office.  Once the grave owner has died, then the rights need to be transferred to a living owner who is usually the next of kin.  This can be done either by production of Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or a Will or, if these are not available, by signing a Statutory Declaration in the presence of a Magistrate or Commissioner for Oaths.

Where the deed holder is still alive and the burial rights are to be transferred then this can be done via a Form of Assignment.

These forms are available from the Cemetery Office.

Please contact the Cemetery Office for further details

Grounds Maintenance and Grave Digging

When a grave is reopened it is not always possible to remove surplus soil from around the grave. In this instance the soil is placed in a box on the adjoining grave until after the burial has taken place. It may be that if you have a grave then at some time it may be necessary to place a soil box on your grave if the adjacent grave is reopened. This will be for the minimum time possible and your grave will be left tidy once the grave has been backfilled.

All the grounds maintenance and grave digging in our three cemeteries is carried out under the Authority's grounds maintenance contract.

If you are dissatisfied with any work which is carried out, please register your complaint at the Cemetery Office and the matter will be taken up with the Contractor.

Memorial Safety

All memorials in the Cemetery are inspected on a regular basis.  Any unsafe memorials are marked and in some cases may be laid flat.  All new memorials are erected by stonemasons who are members of the Council's Memorial Registration Scheme, thereby ensuring that they are fixed securely.


Once a coffin or a casket has been interred, there may be occasion when it has to be removed from the grave.  If this happens, then the remains can only be removed once legal permission has been given.

If the burial took place in a grave which was not on ground consecrated by the Church of England, then a licence is required from the Ministry of Justice.  If the ground was consecrated, then a Bishop's Faculty is required from the Carlisle Diocese.

In both instances, the appropriate forms must be completed by the applicant and, if it is a different person, permission must be given by the owner of the exclusive rights of burial.  The Cemetery Office will give help and guidance on making the application, if needed.

If the family are requesting the exhumation, then there will be fees involved and a full estimate will be given at the time of application.