The beautiful Cemetery opened in 1856, and since then over 64,000 burials have taken place there. Some of the Victorian memorials are amazing. The 57 acre cemetery is home to a diversity of wildlife, including jays, woodpeckers, owls, bats, muntjac deer, foxes, badgers and many, many squirrels.
The original Victorian tree planting scheme was devised by Benjamin Cant to arboretum standard, and many of those magnificent mature trees still remain, complemented by many others planted over the years. In all there are in excess of 1,250 mature trees, plus a multitude of beautiful plants and shrubs. The many species of fungi to be found in the Cemetery can be spectacular too.
Colchester cemetery is divided into several sections, offering the choice of a variety of grave options.
Purchasing the Exclusive Right of Burial
In Colchester cemetery graves may be dug to 2 depths:
Burials may take place between 9.00am to 3.00pm Monday to Thursday and from 9.00am to 2.00pm on Fridays, from March to October. In the winter months, November through to February, burials may take place between 9.00am and 2.00pm Monday to Friday.
Burial services may take place at local churches or other suitable premises; in the crematorium chapel; or at the graveside. If the service is held elsewhere there will be a short service of committal at the graveside too.
A completed notice of interment is required for each burial. This notice sets out all of the information required by the cemetery for completion of the burial records and also for the preparation of the grave. Sometimes it includes an application for a grave purchase, too. In addition a registration document, or a Coroners form in lieu of a registration form, is required.
Funeral directors will be able to help with all the arrangements and preparation of the required documentation.
Funerals without a funeral director
If families choose not to use a funeral director to make the burial arrangements, the staff of the crematorium and cemetery office will be happy to help them.
Exhumations may occur for a number of reasons, including:
Exhumation is a serious and expensive process, and should not be undertaken without a lot of thought. The legal process requires that the whole family agree that exhumation is the right choice.
Usually the exhumation will take place early in the morning, while the cemetery is still closed to the public. The area in which the exhumation takes place should be screened off, in order to maintain the dignity of the deceased, and to preserve public decency. In order to ensure that public safety and decency are preserved throughout the exhumation process, an Environmental Health Officer must be present. If the conditions of the licence cannot be met, or there are public health or decency concerns, the exhumation may not proceed.