Grave ownership and memorials

Families can choose a grave in any of the 4 cemeteries in Medway. Grave space is available in both consecrated and general ground. Chatham and Woodlands cemeteries have additional provision for Roman Catholic and Muslim burials. 

Graves can be bought in advance or at the time of the bereavement.

To book a selection with a member of staff email bereavement services: funerals@medway.gov.uk

Grave ownership

When you buy a grave you're buying the burial rights to use the grave space indicated on the deed. This will be for a period of 30, 50 or 99 years, with the freehold ownership of the land remaining with Medway Council.

Owning the rights to a particular grave allows the registered grave owner to:

  • decide who can be buried within the grave
  • allow the placement of any memorial on the grave together with its ongoing maintenance and repair

The registered grave owner has an automatic right of burial in the grave where remaining space permits, and following their funeral it is the responsibility of the executor or nearest surviving relative to arrange a transfer of the ownership to a person with legal entitlement.

Any later burials or memorial works cannot be authorised until the grave transfer has been lawfully completed.

A registered grave owner may transfer the rights to another person. If you would like to do this, you are advised to seek legal advice.

Cemetery memorials

Only the grave owner has the right to erect a memorial. You need a permit from Medway Council to erect a memorial. As part of that permit we only allow stone masons from our approved list to work within our 4 cemeteries.

Insurance

Theft of memorials, criminal and accidental damage is rare in our cemeteries. However, we strongly recommend that you buy insurance for your memorial as we do not accept any responsibility for these, or any other items placed upon the grave.

Cremated remains

The interment of cremated remains is possible in all 4 Medway Cemeteries, with 2 options:

  • cremated remains can be buried in a grave.
  • buy a cremated remains burial plot, which can hold up to 4 sets of cremated remains.

Please note that if re-opening a grave space, permission from the grave owner is required by law.