West Rainton cemetery is run by West Rainton & Leamside Parish Council (the burial authority) and is located in Chantry Place, West Rainton. The cemetery grounds border the A690 trunk road.
It was opened in 1939 and extended in 1983. Although geographically located opposite St Mary’s Church graveyard, the Parish Council cemetery has no association with the Church nor vice versa. There are no Commonwealth War graves in the cemetery.
Dogs, other than assistance dogs are not allowed in the cemetery.
Vehicles are prohibited, other than for funeral corteges or contractor access.
The Parish Council and cemetery visitors want to keep the site looking at its best at all times. To help achieve this, the Parish Council requires grave owners to look after and maintain graves and memorials in a neat, safe, and tidy manner.
Please place all waste in the bin provided at the entrance.
This guide provides information for cemetery users and the owners of grave plots; with details of current fees and details of policies.
What we offer
West Rainton Cemetery provides single or double depth plots for full burials and plots exclusively for cremated remains. A double depth plot provides space for two burials and is the choice when partners wish to be buried together.
Arranging a burial
This should be organised with a reputable Funeral Director. The Parish Council recommends that you use a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors or a similar professional body.
The funeral director will liaise fully with the Parish Council.
Fees and charges
These are reviewed by the Parish Council on an annual basis each March.
The current charges (from 1st April 2021) are:
Service and Cost
Cremated Remains £159.00
Child up to 16 years No Charge
Memorial Erection Fees £80.00
Search Fee £27.00
These fees apply to those who were residents of the parish at the time of death and include those former residents in residential nursing care homes. For non-residents (ie. those living outside of the parish area), the costs are double those shown.
Income generated from burials is used to help maintain and improve the cemetery grounds.
All new burials are now in the designated lawn area of West Rainton Cemetery and only memorial headstones are permitted. Kerb sets are not permitted in this area. This is to allow easier site maintenance and to create a lawned area of the cemetery.
New burials are allocated in the next available space, but the Parish Council reserve the right to allocate space elsewhere within the cemetery should ground conditions or operational issues dictate. Should this prove necessary, the Parish Clerk will notify the Funeral Director.
When you buy a grave at West Rainton Cemetery, what you are actually buying is the Exclusive Right of Burial for a specific period of 99 years. It also entitles the owner to install a memorial in line with Parish Council policy.
You are not buying the grave freehold; it is more like purchasing a lease. No burial may take place in the grave and no memorial may be placed on the grave without the written permission of the grave owner during the period of the Exclusive Rights.
Ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial is, therefore, a very important matter.
The Council’s records contain the details of the registered grave owners. However, it is important that the grave owners keep safe their Exclusive Right of Burial. The Council issues this document when the grave is first purchased and it should be produced if a second burial is required.
If a full or cremated remains burial is required to be made in an existing grave that requires re-opening, you will need to provide an original copy of proof of ownership to the Parish Council. (This will be in the forms of what are known as an Exclusive Right of Burial or Transfer of Assignment).
There is a fee for the re-opening of an existing double depth or cremated remains plot. Please see the details above or check the Parish Council website.
It is not possible to reserve or earmark a burial plot for future use. Cremated remains cannot be scattered in the Cemetery. If you wish to bury cremated remains, you will need permission from the Council – the cemetery has a space dedicated for this purpose, or it may be possible to bury the remains in an existing, full-sized burial plot of another family member.
Cremated remains need to be in a biodegradable urn or casket. Advice should be sought from the funeral director.
Parish Council’s recommendation is that a memorial headstone can only be installed after a minimum six months period following the burial. This period allows for the ground to settle. Responsibility for determining when to install a memorial rests with the monumental mason who must make an assessment of ground conditions after six months.
Please remember if considering West Rainton Cemetery, kerb surrounds are not permitted in the new lawned burial area to the rear of the Cemetery. In older areas of the cemetery where there is currently kerb surrounds in situ, installation of kerb surrounds are permitted but these must be designed and installed by a professional memorial mason and approval sought from the Parish Council.
Memorial headstones for a traditional grave must not exceed 36 ins. height x 34 ins. width. To mark a cremated remains plot, any memorial must not exceed 18 ins. height x 18 ins. width.
Prior to the installation of a memorial headstone, permission must be obtained from the Parish Council to ensure conformity to the dimensions required and that proposed inscriptions are appropriate. Your appointed memorial mason must contact the Parish Council on your behalf.
Memorial headstones must be in alignment with others in the row.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that memorials are kept in good repair. The owner is responsible for any repairs to damage caused by vandalism, storm, wind, lightning, cracking or subsidence of footings. If a memorial becomes unsafe, the Parish Council may contact the registered owner to request that repairs are arranged at their cost. You may wish to arrange appropriate insurance cover.
Rules on grave adornments and settings
All tributes are placed at the owner’s own risk.
Free-standing vases and pots are not permitted at new graves in the designated lawn section of the cemetery nor in older parts of the cemetery where existing graves currently have no memorial or kerb set.
Flower containers in these areas must be requested as an integral part of a memorial headstone when these are commissioned.
For new graves, pending the installation of a permanent memorial, adornments are limited to a grave identification marker and floral tribute.
At other plots, tributes should only be placed within the boundary of a burial plot.
Fresh floral tributes should be removed no later than two weeks after placing. Decayed tributes will be disposed of by the Parish Council.
Artificial floral tributes/wreaths laid for specific occasions eg. Remembrance Day and Christmas should be removed within 3 months. Faded tributes will be removed.
Solar lights are not permitted in the cemetery.
Glass vases, jars, pottery, or flimsy ornaments are not allowed in the cemetery. For health and safety reasons these will be removed.
Unauthorised, makeshift, or unsafe installations will be removed and disposed of by the Parish Council.
Keeping in touch
It is important that the Parish Council is able to keep its records up to date, if you are a grave plot owner and change address, please notify the Council as soon as possible.
Should you have any queries about the cemetery or individual grave plots, please contact the Parish Clerk:
Tel: 0790 080 0540 (business hours only – please leave a message)
1stPublished September 2019
(V4 Revised April 2021)