How to get permission to exhume human remains from a grave.

It is illegal to remove or disturb human remains, including cremated remains, from a place of burial without the permission of the relevant local authority.

licence must be obtained from the Ministry of Justice before an exhumation can proceed, or where the ground is consecrated by the Church of England a Bishop’s Faculty will be required from the Diocesan authorities.

You should consider very carefully whether you would wish to make an application and consult with all relatives before proceeding.

The following costs must be considered:

  • cemetery fees for the disinterment (and re-interment, if required in our cemetery), including the removal of any memorials
  • funeral directors' charges including a new coffin or casket and removal to a new burial or cremation site
  • bishop's faculty (if required)

The bereavement services team can give you information and guidance on making an application.

Apply for a Bishop's faculty

You should apply to the Diocesan registry in Carlisle.

They will give you a form which should be returned to the registry.

The non-refundable fee for the application is £162.

The Carlisle Diocesan Registry can be contacted at:

The Cube
Barrack Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Telephone: 0191 226 7878
Email: laura.peace@sintons.co.uk

The exhumation

We will arrange a suitable date for the exhumation. It will take place early in the morning before the cemetery is open, although work on the grave may be carried out the day before.

Before the exhumation takes place we will ensure you are fully aware of the procedure as well as what will happen next. 

Contact us

Barrow office

Covering Barrow, Dalton and Ireleth Cemeteries, Thorncliffe Crematorium, Barrow and enquires for the Barrow area.

Phone: 01229 876542
Email: cemetery@westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

Kendal office

Covering Kendal, Windermere, Bowness, Grasmere, Ulverston, Grange and Sedbergh Cemeteries and enquires for the South Lakeland area.

Phone: 01539 793554
Email: cemeteries@westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk

Penrith office

Covering Penrith, Appleby, Alston, Garrigill and Nenthead and enquires for the Eden area.

Phone: 01768 212251
Email: penrith.cemetery@westmorlandandfurness.gov.uk