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Cost of burying ashes at a family grave

Cost of burying ashes in a family grave

This story form sunny Devon highlights the unforeseen cost of choosing to bury the ashes of a loved one in a family plot.

A lady, called Phyllis Bishop, a long time resident of Torquay passed away. Her wish was to be buried alongside her husband at their family grave in Torquay. However the family ended opting for cremation as the cost to reopen the grave for burial was very expensive (ordinarily £725), but because Mrs Bishop had spent her last two years in Newton Abbot (stone throwing distance) the family needed to pay an extra £1000 as she was deemed to be from outside the area (ouch!).

They chose to have the ashes buried at the family grave instead, which wasn’t cheap either – the cost to have a hole dug for the urn – £500.

We conducted a straw poll of half a dozen authorities chosen at random, the costs for interning ashes varied between £100 and £215, which seems a little more reasonable.

I am not sure what percent goes to the private company operating the cemetery and what to the authority,  I am guessing it all goes to the company.   If authorities choose to outsource to private companies, these by their very nature must make a profit, but it is the Authority that set this tariff not the company. Obviously the company will wish to negotiate a good rate so it can make money – but all these should be reasonable and as this is in effect a monopoly public service transparency wouldn’t go amiss either. The spokesman for Torbay council response was a little underwhelming:

‘When the council transferred the management of the cemeteries and crematorium to Westerleigh, they also took on the pre-existing operational arrangements which included charging double fees for out-of-area residents.

‘We do keep our arrangements under review and will continue to work with Westerleigh on this matter.’

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4 thoughts on “Cost of burying ashes at a family grave

  1. Reply
    Rose Tucker - 4th June 2023

    My. Mum passed away and I want to know if I can scatter her ashes with my dad she passed away 3years ago and the family want some where to go and say goodbye to her so just wondering how much would it be

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 6th June 2023

      Hi Rose

      Are you asking how much it would cost to scatter the ashes on the grave of your father?

      Kind regards

  2. Reply
    Andrea Brown - 8th July 2021

    I am wanting a no service funeral, but I am wanting my ashes to added to the plot owned by my parents have their Ashes Could you please tell me how much it’s going to cost to do do this. They have payed for more than just the two of them to be there.

    1. Reply
      Richard Martin - 12th July 2021

      Hi Andrea
      You would need to contact the organisation administering the site where parents are – they would advice, as prices vary.
      Kind regards

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