Graveyards, cemeteries and burials grounds – these are resting places for those who opt for burial or interment.
Burials are carried out by placing a coffin in a grave, often tiered in a lair of 3, one on top of the other. (Ashes can also be buried or interred.)
When you buy the ‘title’ to a lair you are entitled to bury up to 3 bodies there. (You never own the land, just the right to be buried.) Lair deeds are often left as part of someone’s estate when they die so that coming generations can join their forebears.
To buy a lair plot, contact your local council or the landowner to find out more. Our Marketplace has contacts for natural burial grounds.
In some parts of the UK, you can buy a lair deed at any time: in others, where burial space is at a premium, you can only buy a lair at the time of a death. When a burial ground is full, very old graves may be opened up and the remains reburied so the ground can be reused. Depending on space available, the ability to buy the title to a lair may only be available to local residents. Sometimes they are available to all but cheaper to locals. If your family owns a lair, the title deeds may be held by the family lawyer or solicitor. If you have lair deeds, store a copy in your Safe Deposit Box on Final Fling for safekeeping.
Moss-covered, tilted stones in evocative old and ancient cemeteries attached to churches now tend to be managed by councils. Councils have to manage the challenge of continuing to find land for burial grounds (and must be thankful that cremation continues to be more popular than burial).
Cellophane flower wrappers, noisy wind chimes and plastic displays have been banned by many councils to keep our graveyards green and pleasant – as reported by the BBC.
For people who live far away from their family, tending graves can be a challenge. One person who has personal experience of this has set up a website dedicated to finding people who might look after graves for others in the network.
Find a grave
If you’re doing a bit of genealogy and looking for a grave, try this site.