Neil Curtis & Sons Funeral Contractors (NCFC) are fully trained to carry out a full range of exhumation services. These services include exhuming full burials, cremated remains, and larger projects. NCFC has the experience, equipment and solid operating processes in procedures required when managing more complex tasks such as large scale exhumations for cemetery relocations that are often owned by local councils. NCFC offer a comprehensive range of peripheral services for exhumations including arranging new coffins, transportation of existing memorials, and vault relocations. 

What exactly is exhumation?

When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional and challenging period for the deceased's (the person who has died). family and friends.

Unfortunately, occasionally it is necessary to remove the remains of a deceased person from their burial, whether they were cremated or buried in the ground.

This procedure is referred to as exhumation.

The following organisations and representatives are able to request an exhumation:

  • Someone operating on behalf of (representing) a person who has passed away.

  • The Coroner.

  • A local authority such as a council.

  • A representative of the religious establishment.

  • The Department of Transport.

What are the reasons for exhuming a burial site?

Exhuming a deceased person is sometimes required. Here are some of the more common reasons for exhumations:

  • An exhumation may be granted when the family moves home to a new area and requests their loved one's grave to be relocated nearer so they can easily visit the burial site.

  • There are cases when a local council may decide to relocate an entire cemetery due to a request for redevelopment being accepted. For example, take a look at this notice from Southwark Council, entitled 'The Future of Cemeteries'.

  • Another example is where older cemeteries in London are being redeveloped due to the high demand of available space for development projects. It's important to note that the repurposing of burial sights is governed by The Burial Act  of 1857. 

How are exhumations governed?

In the United Kingdom exhumations are governed by The Burial Act of 1857 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is one of the Burial Acts 1852 to 1885. Its purpose is to regulate burial grounds. It regulates where and how deceased people may be buried, and provides for the exhumation of remains.

The full and updated Act can be found here: The Burial Act of 1857.

More resources for the Burial Act 1857Original Print PDF of Queen's Printer Version

More resources for the Burial Act 1857Original Print PDF of Queen's Printer Version


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about US

Neil Curtis & Sons Funeral Contractors Limited (NCFC) is one of the UK's largest privately-owned, independent and professional grave digging and exhumation organisations with over 40 years in the business.

Neil Curtis and Sons Funeral Contractors Limited. A company registered in England with company number: 5355511

Registered office: No5 Oxford House, Oxford Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 2YE

Correspondence address: 351 Barkham Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 4DJ