The cemetery service delivers a professional and caring service and our priority is to ensure that all funerals are organised and conducted in a dignified and orderly manner.

A meaningful funeral is an important part of the grieving process and we recognise that each person's needs are different and our aim is to ensure that every funeral is as personal and unhurried as possible.

The Council manages four cemeteries within the borough, Bexleyheath, Erith, Hillview and Sidcup.

For all enquiries and further information telephone the Cemeteries Office 020 3045 4100 or email cemeteries@bexley.gov.uk.

Before a burial can take place, the death must be registered within five days. You may wish to contact a Funeral Director to discuss funeral arrangements. You are entitled to ask for a free quotation, you are under no obligation to use a Funeral Director if you wish to undertake the arrangements yourself. The Council can offer advice if this is your preference, telephone the Cemeteries office on 020 3045 4100 or email cemeteries@bexley.gov.uk.

Costs may include:

  • removal of the deceased
  • preparation services of the deceased
  • coffin
  • limousine / hearse
  • church and ministers' fees
  • cemetery fees
  • notices in local papers
  • flowers
  • reception arrangements
  • memorials

You may be able to apply to the Government for help with the cost of a funeral. The cost of a funeral is usually met from the assets of the person who has passed away. If there are no assets the cost may be the responsibility of the person making the funeral arrangements.

There are a number of choices when selecting a grave and cemetery:

  • private earthen Muslim plots at Hillview (suitable for one or two interments)
  • private earthen plots for all other denominations at Hillview (suitable for one or two interments and six sets of cremated remains)
  • public earthen plots for adults at Erith (suitable for two interments of unrelated adults)
  • private earthen plots for babies or non-viable foetuses at Erith and Hillview (suitable for one baby)
  • public earthen plots for babies or non-viable foetuses at Erith and Sidcup (babies will be buried with other non-related babies)
  • underground burial vaults at Erith memorial terrace, Hillview memorial garden and Sidcup memorial circle (suitable for one to four interments). Some underground burial vaults also have room for cremated remains
  • sarcophagi burial chambers at Erith (suitable for one to four interments)
  • mausoleum at Erith (suitable for one interment)
  • information on the Memorial Chambers can be found in the following document The Memorial Chambers (PDF, 520KB)

All private graves are purchased on a lease basis, the earthen graves offer 30, 50 or 75 years. The underground burial vaults, sarcophagi and mausoleum offer 50 or 75 years and the purchase fee include the first opening and memorial.

  • a deed of grant is issued to the purchaser (the owner) once the fees have been received and after the first interment has taken place
  • the fees for the graves are generally paid for on the purchaser's behalf by the Funeral Director
  • the owner of the grave is given the exclusive right of burial and only they can give permission for a burial to take place or a memorial to be fitted
  • the owner has the automatic right to be buried in the grave (space permitting)
  • after the interment of the owner no further burials or memorial works can take place (with the exception of the deceased owner's name being added to the existing memorial) until a new grave owner has been registered

Public graves are owned by the Council and there will be unrelated persons buried. As there are no individual rights to the grave the cost is much lower than a private grave.

Bexleyheath Cemetery Chapel
Bexleyheath Cemetery Chapel

 

Erith Cemetery Chapel
Erith Cemetery Chapel
  •  there are chapels in Bexleyheath and Erith cemeteries which seat up to 30 people
  • these are interdenominational and people of all beliefs may use the chapel facilities
  • you may have a religious representative to take the service, although this is not compulsory
  • friends or family members may wish to take the service themselves or families may wish to have the service taken by, for example, a member of the National Association of Humanists
  • both chapels have music facilities available for CD/ tape if a special piece of music is required
  • If you would like to sing hymns an organist with their own instrument will be required
  • live music, example bagpipes, is permitted in the chapel and at graveside
  • please discuss your individual requirements with your Funeral Director or cemetery office staff

Burial plot

  • it is important that the design and stonemason are carefully chosen and are registered to work in Bexley
  • for a full private memorial grave a headstone only or full memorial is permitted
  • the headstone only can measure 3’ high x 2’ 6” wide, and a full memorial can be 4’ high, 2’ 6” wide x 6’ 6” long
  • for a lawn private memorial grave a headstone only is permitted
  • for a public grave only a small tablet or vase is permitted
  • the underground vaults, sarcophagi, and mausoleum include the memorial, additional memorialisation and inscriptions are extra
  • only the exclusive right of burial grave owner is allowed to instruct a stone mason to place a memorial
  • the stone mason will fill in a memorial permit application and get the grave owner to sign it
  • a permit fee for a memorial is levied by the Council

Cremated remains plot

Bexleyheath

  • Lodge Garden of Remembrance - large black granite vase with gold inscription ordered from the Council
  • Memorial Garden – black, white or red granite sloping ledger which measures 2’ x 2’ and the height of the headstone is 18”

Erith

  • Half Moon Garden of Remembrance – large black granite vase with gold inscription ordered from the Council
  • Garden of Remembrance – small cremation memorial measuring 17.5” x 17.5”, or small vase ordered form a stone mason.
  • half plots – headstone measuring 3’ high, 2’ 6” in width ordered from a stone mason.

Hillview

  • full memorial grave - full memorial measuring 4’ high x 2’ 6” wide and 6’ 6” in length or headstone only measuring 3’ high x 2’ 6” wide
  • Sanctum Vaults – the ruby red tablet, and vase are purchased from the Council
  • Shell Garden of Remembrance – large black granite vase with gold inscriptions ordered from the Council
  • Sundial Garden of Remembrance – large black granite vase with gold inscriptions ordered form the Council

Sidcup

  • Rose Garden of Remembrance - large black granite vase with gold inscriptions ordered form the Council
  • half plots - headstone measuring 3’ high, 2’ 6” in width ordered from a stone mason

 

Cremations take place at Eltham Crematorium.

Cremated remains can be interred into an existing grave with the permission of the grave owner, there is no need to instruct a Funeral Director to undertake the burial of ashes, you can instruct the service yourself.

Bexleyheath

  • Lodge Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a large black granite vase with gold writing is purchased from the Council, these plots are owned by the Council and the burial is in perpetuity (forever)
  • Memorial Garden holds up to six sets of ashes and permitted memorials are black, white or red granite sloping tablet with desk ledger, these plots are purchased on a lease based of 30, 50 or 75 years

Erith

  • Half Moon Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a large black granite vase with gold writing and is purchased from the Council. These plots are owned by the Council and the burial is in perpetuity (forever)
  • Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a small tablet or vase can be purchased from an approved stone mason. These plots are owned by the Council and the burial is in perpetuity (forever)
  • half plots hold up to six sets of ashes and a headstone can be purchased from an approved stone mason. These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 30, 50 or 75 years

Hillview

  • full Memorial Grave can be purchased for ashes and up to six sets can be buried. These plots are purchased on a leased basis of 30, 50 or 75 years and have full memorial or headstone only
  • Sanctum Vaults hold up to two sets of ashes and a ruby red tablet and vase are purchased from the Council. These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 30 years and are available as purchase in reserve of use
  • Shell Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a large black granite vase with gold writing is ordered from the Council
  • Sundial Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a large black granite vase with gold writing is purchased from the Council

Sidcup

  • Rose Garden of Remembrance holds up to two sets of ashes and a large black granite vase with gold writing is purchased from the Council
  • half plots hold up to six sets of cremated remains and a headstone can be ordered from a stone mason. These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 30, 50 or 75 years

 

An extended lease provides the choice of exclusive rights of burial for a longer period than the established 30 years.

The benefits of purchasing a longer lease include:

  • an inflation proof fixed charge
  • peace of mind for families and relatives for many additional years

Families who have an existing grave in Bexley also have the chance to extend their existing lease for set periods of 10, 30, 50 and 75 years. However, a revised lease period may not exceed 100 years in total.

For further assistance and full details of the prices, telephone the Cemeteries office on 020 3045 4100 or email cemeteries@bexley.gov.uk.

Burial registers provide an important source of family history and local information. If you require the Council to undertake a search, a fee is payable.

Grave tidy is a one off service and can be carried out at any time of the year, and includes:

  • tidying the grave space
  • removal of weeds
  • installation of bark to a level surface

 

Individual memorial seats are not available for purchase in any of Bexley's cemeteries, however, there are benches strategically placed in the cemeteries and bronze memorial plaques may be ordered and placed on a bench, this is subject to availability.

The plaques are ordered through the Council's main cemetery office, please email cemeteries@bexley.gov.uk.

The Council offers a twice yearly private grave maintenance service of planting bedding plants and weeding, plus watering throughout the year.

Private graves are available to purchase in reserve of use, the following graves are available to purchase in reserve: -

  • private earthen Muslim plots at Hillview Cemetery (suitable for one or two interments). These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 30, 50, or 75 years
  • private earthen plots for all other denominations at Hillview Cemetery (suitable for one or two interments, and six sets of cremated remains). These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 30, 50, or 75 years
  • underground burial vaults at Erith, Hillview and Sidcup Cemetery (suitable for one, two, three or four interments). Some underground burial vaults also have room for cremated remains. These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 50 or 75 years and include the first interment
  • Sarcophagi burial chambers at Erith (suitable for one, two, or four interments). These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 50 or 75 years and include the first interment
  • Mausoleum at Erith (suitable for one interment). These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 50 or 75 years and include the interment
  • Sanctum vaults at Hillview suitable for two sets of ashes. These plots are purchased on a lease basis of 75 years

 

Temporary wooden surrounds define a grave space until a permanent memorial is fitted. Wooden surrounds are permitted on full memorial graves.