Information about graves

Purchased graves

When you purchase a grave, you do not actually buy the land that the grave occupies, you purchase the exclusive right of burial in the grave. This means that no burials can take place in the grave without your permission. It also gives you the right to have a memorial placed on the grave, subject to current memorial regulations and the payment of a permit fee. A separate memorial grant is issued.

Unpurchased graves

If the Exclusive Right of Burial in a grave is not purchased the council retains the rights, and may use the remaining space in the grave for further unrelated burials. Memorials cannot be placed on these graves.

Benefits of grave purchase

  • Control over who is buried in the grave
  • Right to place a headstone or other type of memorial

Deed of grant

When you purchase a grave, the council will issue you with a Deed of Grant. This is proof of your ownership and is a very important document. You should keep the deed in a safe place as you may be asked to produce it when you ask for a burial to take place in a grave.

Length of purchase

In the Borough of Havant you may purchase a grave for a period of 30 years. After 5 years you will be offered the opportunity to purchase further years, keeping it at 30 years. If you choose not to, the rights to the grave will revert to the council.

Responsibilities of owners

As the owner of the grave, you are responsible for the safety and condition of any memorial on the grave. Havant Borough Council has responsibilities under Health and Safety legislation to ensure the safety of visitors and staff in cemeteries. However if a memorial becomes dilapidated and/or unsafe, the council has the right to remove or make it safe. The cost for any such work can be claimed from the grave owner if they do not arrange for the repair themselves.

In order to keep our records up to date so that we may contact you if necessary, it is important that any changes of address are notified to us as soon as possible.

Responsibilities of the council

The council will maintain the cemetery to a decent standard by cutting the grass regularly and ensuring that the grave is topped up and levelled if it should sink.

Please note that it may be necessary at some point in the future to excavate the graves surrounding yours. If this happens we will return the area to its usual condition as soon as possible.

Cemetery regulations

Regulations are necessary in order to ensure that the cemeteries are safe, attractive and fitting places for all those who visit and work in them. Memorials must be of good quality, natural materials, and must be of an approved type and size. They must also be fixed by a registered stonemason. We require co-operation in keeping the grassed area of graves free of pots, plants, or other artefacts especially breakable items. This is so that the grass can be cut safely without risking injury to the operator from glass or plastic shards, and without causing damage to memorials or visitors.

We recognise that you may wish to leave tributes; please ask us first.