The decision between burial and cremation is difficult but necessary to make. There are many different types of burial ground available.

From churchyards and traditional cemeteries to lawn cemeteries and natural burial grounds, we have detailed some of the local options below. To find out more information about each individual cemetery, please select the local cemetery from the menu below on the left.  If there is a churchyard or cemetery you wish to enquire about that isn’t listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.

Sutton Road Cemetery

Sutton Road Cemetery

Sutton Road Cemetery
Sutton Road,
Essex, SS2 5PX

Tel: 01702 603907

Located on Sutton Road in Southend, the cemetery is able to offer graves for both burial and cremation. There are also religious denominational sections and non-denominational sections available. There is also a small church and a chapel that is available for a funeral service prior to interment.  Various memorial types are also permitted at Sutton Road Cemetery.

Hall Road Cemetery, Rochford

Hall Road Cemetery

Hall Road Cemetery
Hall Road
Essex, SS4 1PD

Tel: 01702 318134

Hall Road Cemetery located on Hall Road, Rochford is a lawn cemetery. There are provisions for full size burials or cremated remains interments. The memorials permitted at Hall Road are Headstones for full size graves, (which sit at the head of the grave.) Or Cremated remains memorials as appropriate.

The Lawn Parish Cemetery, Rochford

The Lawn

The Lawn Parish Cemetery
Hall Road

Essex, , SS4 1PD
Tel: 01268 540722

The Lawn situated on Hall Road, Rochford is next door to Hall Road Cemetery. The Lawn is the Parish cemetery for Rochford and can be used for anyone who is resident in the Parish at the time of their death. Full size burials and cremated remains interments are permitted.  If you live outside the parish of Rochford, burials and interments are still available however the Parish Council will make additional charges.

Rayleigh Cemetery

Rayleigh Cemetery

Rayleigh Cemetery
Hockley Road
Essex, SS6 8AY

Tel: 01702 318134

Rayleigh cemetery is located on Hockley Road, Rayleigh. It is now full and no longer provides plots for full size burial although there are new graves still available in the Children’s section. Burials are still permitted within existing plots.  There are no more private cremated remains plots available however a Columbarium is available, where private niches can be leased.  There is also the option of scattering ashes in a communal garden section and placing a name plaque on the memorial wall.

Thornton Meadows, Ashingdon

Thornton Meadows

Thornton Meadows
Canewdon Road, Ashingdon

Tel: 07498 202716

Thornton Meadows is a natural burial ground. It is located in Ashingdon and offers a natural alternative to traditional burials and provides a peaceful final resting place in a manner that is friendly towards nature, wildlife and the environment.  No headstones may be erected, but there are areas where trees can be planted and a bronze name plaque placed on the tree.

Bowers Gifford Cemetery

Bowers Gifford Cemetery

Bowers Gifford Cemetery
Church Road
Bowers Gifford,

Basildon, SS13 2HG
Tel: 01268 584411

Basildon Cemetery is set in eight acres of countryside, with views of the River Thames and Kent. They allow a wide range of burial and memorial options.

Woodside Cemetery, Benfleet

Benfleet Funeral Director

Woodside Cemetery
Manor Road

Tel: 01268 208130

Woodside Cemetery is both a traditional and woodland burial ground.  With burial plots available that allow the erection of a headstone.  There are also plots that are located in a more natural setting, offering options to plant a tree, shrub or flower bulbs on top of the grave.

Woodside Cemetery also has its own chapel, allowing for services and interments all in one place.

Burial ?

What types of graves are available?

Some authorities have introduced a wide range of graves to give people as many options as possible when arranging the burial of a loved one. For many, the lawn grave is considered to be the best option but for others a more traditional, elaborate and larger type of memorial is preferred. Burial above ground in a Catacomb is available at some cemeteries as are vaults, brick graves and mausolea.

Why have I only been sold the grave for a set period of time?

The law stipulates that graves cannot be sold for more than 100 years. However, the law does permit grant of ownership to be extended and some authorities write to owners every five years offering the opportunity to ‘top-up’ their lease. This way the grave can stay in the family for as long as they wish, though ownership will never be issued for more than 100 years at any one time. Even where this topping up option is not offered, you can usually renew the right at the end of the current lease.

What happens when the lease expires?

When you ‘buy’ a grave you purchase the exclusive Rights of Burial in that grave for a set period of time. At the end of the period you should be given the option of renewing the Rights for a further period. It is vitally important that you keep the cemetery office fully informed should you change address otherwise you may not receive a notice of renewal at the appropriate time.

I own the grave - can anyone else be buried in it if I don't want them to be?

No. Graves cannot be opened without the permission in writing of the registered owner of the grave. The only exception to this is where the burial is to be that of the registered owner, in which case no written authority is required. The law protects your rights as registered owner of the grave.

Are graves filled in straight after a funeral or are they left to the next day?

Graves are prepared for burial at least one full day before the funeral and are covered overnight. The ICCM Guiding Principles for Burial Services states that immediately after the mourners have departed the graveside, the grave shall be entirely backfilled and made tidy. This work is completed on the day of the burial and coffins must not be left uncovered overnight.

I understand that some people wait while the grave is filled in. Why is this?

Some cultures require that the grave is filled in while the family watch or they may wish to undertake the backfilling of the grave themselves. When families request this it is essential that the cemetery is made aware of their requirements when the burial is first arranged. This will ensure that the family’s wishes are met and that their safety is protected during the backfilling process.

Can anyone witness the grave being filled?

Yes, but the cemetery will need to be advised of this before the funeral takes place so that they are prepared.

Why are graves dug so deep?

Graves have to be dug to a sufficient depth to allow for future burials to take place. Therefore the grave needs to be deep enough to allow not only for the depth of coffins/caskets that will be buried but also to accommodate legal requirements of undisturbed earth which must be between each coffin and the amount of earth that must cover the last interment.

I am told the grave is for two people - there is only one person in the grave and I now want two more burials to take place in the grave. What can I do?

When a grave is purchased to take two full body burials, the depth to which the grave is excavated for the first burial must take into account the need for the second burial. There are legal requirements as to how much earth must be left on top of the last coffin, and it is therefore not physically possible to put an extra coffin into the grave without breaking the law. However, after the grave is full for coffined burials, cremated remains caskets or urns may still be buried within the grave.

I've got a lawn grave. When will I be able to put a memorial onto it?

In cemeteries where continuous concrete foundations have been laid, memorials can be erected on lawn graves almost immediately. In cemeteries where the headstone is erected directly on the excavated area of the grave there may be a period stipulated in the cemetery regulations which gives the ground time to settle. During this period the cemetery staff should monitor any sinking that becomes apparent and will top up with topsoil until settlement ceases.

I have a lawn grave. Why can't I put a full memorial over the surface of the grave?

The lawn grave was designed on the war grave principle (to have only a memorial of limited size at the head of the grave with the rest of the grave laid to lawn). In this manner the limited area available for burial is best utilised. In addition, maintenance is easier to accomplish with large mowing machinery being used to keep the area in a neat condition. These graves are sold on the understanding that only lawn style memorials are erected. Full memorials are only permitted on Traditional graves. Care must be taken when selecting the type of grave. If you would prefer a larger, more traditional type memorial you should not opt for a lawn grave.

Why is a permit needed?

Prior to a memorial being erected on a grave space, the written authority of the owner of the grave must be given on a permit/application form, requesting the proposed erection of the memorial. Memorials need to conform to cemetery/churchyard regulations with regard to size and fixings, and the memorial also needs to be checked for stability under health and safety regulations. The cemetery staff need to check that the memorial conforms to regulations and will be erected in a safe manner. To a certain extent this helps protect your interests although you will remain responsible for the maintenance of the memorial in the future.


As your local funeral director in Rayleigh, Southend, and Benfleet we are here to help and advise you in whatever way we can.
We are dedicated professionals who provide a personal service to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

01268 743102 for Rayleigh or 01702 586383 for Thorpe Bay