Births, marriages, deaths and nationality Graves

Buying a grave

Choosing your location

We can help you choose a cemetery or grave by advising on the types and availability of graves, and any conditions that apply to them, such as their suitability for memorials.

New grave plots are available to pre-purchase in Blackley, Southern and Phillips Park Cemeteries. Please send an email to including a phone number where we can call you to make an appointment with our Customer Services Team, who will help you to select a suitable plot. See our online guide to costs.

Your Grave Deed

When you buy a private grave you are issued with a Deed of Grant (or Grave Deed) and your name is registered in the cemetery records as the owner of the burial rights for 99 years, subject to extension on the conditions in force at the time. A reference number is given to the grave when it is bought, which can help owners if they have difficulty locating the grave.

Your Grave Deed is an important document and must be produced whenever the grave is needed for a burial.

Subsequent burials

When the grave has to be reopened for another burial, all you need to do is pass the Grave Deed to a funeral director; they will make all the arrangements and complete the cemetery order for you to sign (make sure that the Grave Deed is given back to you after the funeral).

The owner must give written consent for the grave to be opened or for photographs or video of a headstone to be taken.

We need a minimum of 48 hours notice before opening a grave.

Over a period of time the earth in a grave can settle, meaning that it may need to be topped up and levelled. Contact the Customer Services Team at Blackley or Southern Cemetery to arrange this: there is no fee for this service.

To make an enquiry please email

Burials in a private grave

Every effort is made to dig a new grave as deep as possible to accommodate standard-size coffins, but the depth of the grave cannot be guaranteed: conditions vary even in the same cemetery.

If a neighbouring grave needs to be opened for a burial, the soil may need to be temporarily placed on your grave but the ground will be made good after the burial.

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