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Choosing and managing a cremation plot

Haycombe Cemetery is our only council-owned site offering a permanent resting place after cremation. On the southern edge of Bath, the 36-acre hilltop site offers a stunning outlook, with the rolling countryside of the Englishcombe Valley below, the historic village of Newton St Loe, and views as far as the hills of South Wales in the distance. This beautiful open setting offers visitors a powerful connection with the ancient city of Bath and its natural surroundings, and a peaceful place to come to in the future, when you want to visit a loved one who has died.

Select a topic below to learn more about cremation plots at Haycombe, or contact our experienced and compassionate Bereavement Services team to discuss any aspect of your funeral, cremation or memorial arrangements. Call us on 01225 39 60 20 or email cemeteries_crematorium@bathnes.gov.uk 

How cremation fees work

For all cremations of adults and children over the age of 17, there is a basic fee. This pays for the cremation process itself, and any associated services.

Any additional costs will depend on whether you choose to have a funeral service, to scatter or inter (bury) your loved one's cremation ashes at Haycombe, use a pre-existing family plot, or you are getting a new family plot for the first time. 

Getting a private, or family, cremation plot

Of the 33 cemeteries and churchyards we manage and maintain, 31 are full, and closed to new plots. While these sites need to be maintained in a safe and fit state, many graves and cremation plots ceased to have living family and friends to visit them decades ago. To provide a sustainable service for the future, we can no longer offer cremation plots for permanent sale. Instead, you can buy a right of interment, or a long lease on the plot site, to provide for visitors and the needs of family members to have a resting place together. Currently there is a choice of purchasing a 30-year or 50-year right of interment at Haycombe Cemetery.

When you pay the right of interment fee, you become the owner of the cremation plot for the period you have purchased. This means that you have the right to say whose ashes can be buried there, and can also place a suitable memorial, such as a gravestone. Only approved stonemasons can put up a memorial in Haycombe, and they will be able to advise you on options for something which is fitting for your loved one, and suitable for the setting of the cemetery. You or your funeral director can get a list of these professionals from the main office at the cemetery. 

Some people choose to set up a pre-payment plan before their death, to cover funeral and right of interment costs, and save their family the expense or worry about what they would most prefer. If you would like to do this, we recommend contacting your preferred funeral director to make arrangements.

Choosing an area of Haycombe

Haycombe occupies a large site with a wide variety of different areas, including consecrated and unconsecrated ground, grasslands and woodland areas. To learn more about your or your family's options for cremation plots and memorials here, explore our guide

Your rights and responsibilities for rights of interment

Because a right of interment is a long-standing legal contract, generally designed to outlive the original owner, it is important to protect your and your family's rights by managing it appropriately. If you own this right, you have the following responsibilities:

  • You must notify the cemetery of any change of name or address, so we are able to keep in touch with you.
  • You should decide who will inherit the right after you die, and record this decision legally in a will.
  • If you inherit the right from a relative, you must come to the cemetery office to arrange a transfer of ownership (see below).
  • You should read and understand our Cemetery Rules and Regulations, so you know exactly what you can and can't do, and what rights your family will have over the plot after your death.

 

Transferring ownership of a right of interment

Your right of interment will allow the burial of your cremation ashes to take place. However, the ashes of other members of your family can only be buried in the same plot or vault if you transfer the right to them. You can do this before your death, or choose to do it through your will. Once the transfer is complete, all the new owners' signatures will be necessary for any applications to make changes to the plot, such as putting up a memorial, or changing an existing one.

Before your death

You can choose during your life to share the right of interment with someone else, or to transfer it to them completely. These transfers are quick and easy to do. Just ask a member of cemetery staff to help.

Through your will

If you have willed your right of interment to a relative, your executors can bring your original document to the cemetery office once an Order of Probate has been granted. Staff can then make a transfer of the right to your executors. Where your right of interment documents have been lost, your executors will need to contact the probate office to provide certified copies.

If you have not made a will, or there is no probate

If you have made a will, but your estate is small and probate is unnecessary, your executors should bring the original right of interment document and your will to the cemetery office. Staff can prepare a Statutory Declaration based on your will.

If you die without leaving a will, your next of kin will need to supply details to us, so that we can prepare a Statutory Declaration.

In either of these cases, the Statutory Declaration must be signed and sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Magistrate. Any statements in the Declaration have the same legal status as evidence given in a court of law, so there is a legal obligation to tell the truth.

If there are problems deciding on a transfer of rights

There have been periods in the past when people have failed to apply the legal protections around transfer of rights of interment correctly. As a result, there is sometimes more than one generation between the original owner of a right of interment and the present claimant. This can lead to difficulties in establishing just who is entitled to claim. Our staff receive regularly updated training and have access to specialist legal advice on this matter, and will always try to help you in any way they can.

Public plots

Anyone's ashes can be buried at Haycombe, on payment of the interment fee. If there is no family or private plot, the burial will take place in a public cremation plot. This means a site where the ashes of other unrelated people may also be buried, and where there will be no private memorial, or headstone. Under certain circumstances, we may approve a memorial on a public cremation plot.

If the person has no family or friends, or they are unable or unwilling to organise or pay for a funeral service or cremation, we may pay for a public health funeral and burial of cremation ashes in a public plot. You can learn more about this on the GOV.UK website

Floral tributes and our local wildlife

The cemetery plays host to deer, squirrels, pheasants and numerous species of birds, including kestrels and woodpeckers. Whilst these visitors add to the natural tranquillity of the site, they can occasionally damage flowers or bulbs left on memorials. Deer and squirrels in particular may eat roses and carnations, or dig up flower bulbs or corms, giving the impression that a grave site has been vandalised. We advise spraying flowers with a deterrent, such as curry powder mixed with washing up liquid, or choosing flowers and plants that are less attractive to these animals, such as alliums, daffodils, snowdrops and hyacinths.