Burials, cemeteries and crematorium


Norwich City Council does not provide bereavement or funeral services but can help with a non-traditional burial (without a funeral director) by offering advice and guidance with the arrangements. For further details please complete the contact us form or call 0344 980 3333, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday,

Natural burials

During 2013 Norwich City Council will be adding a new service to its existing burial provision. This new service is called ‘natural’ or ‘woodland’ burials. It involves the burial of a body in an area which creates a habitat for wildlife or which preserves existing habitats. For more information, click on the below link.

Natural burials (22 Kb pdf) 

Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984

Under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 Norwich City Council can make burial arrangements for the body of any person who has died or been found dead within its district where it is established after investigation that there is no possibility of an alternative course of action. This will occur when it appears that no other agency/person is making suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body.
We will recover any expenses incurred in effecting the funeral arrangements from the estate of the deceased person (or from any person responsible for maintaining the deceased prior to their death). The first claim on the estate of the deceased person is for funeral expenses. 
The council has no powers to accept responsibility after private funeral arrangements have been made.

Burials carried out under Section 46 of the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984  


The council manages two cemeteries - one on Earlham Road and the other on Rosary Road. Both have space for burials. The Earlham Road cemetery has separate areas for a number of religious beliefs and traditional, lawn or conservation locations. Choice and space is more limited at the Rosary Road cemetery.

To be buried at either cemetery the right to a grave must be purchased. For memorial approval contact the council on 0344 980 3333.

Memorial testing programme

To meet our obligations as a burial authority, we’ve developed a testing programme to make memorials safe. The work, which began in July and will last until 2015, involves inspecting about 40,000 memorials spread across Earlham Cemetery, Rosary Cemetery and 35 closed churchyards, covering some 100 acres of land. Click here for more information (12.7 Kb pdf)

Rules and regulations

Local authority managed cemeteries are subject to standards and conditions commonly grouped together as ‘Rules and Regulations’. These are provided in order to inform cemetery users about aspects of the management of the cemeteries and the reasonable requirements that are applicable to all those who visit or work in the cemeteries. Clearly defined rules and regulations are essential in order that cemeteries can be operated in an efficient and effective manner, always with due consideration for the needs of the bereaved. Cemetery rules and regulations (40.4Kb pdf)

Charges for graves, memorial approvals and grave maintenance

Click on the link below for charges for graves, memorial approvals and grave maintenance.

The council now offers the opportunity to extend the period of burial grants by purchasing a 'top-up'. For details of this new service, please follow the link below. 

Current charges (up until April 2016)

All memorials must be approved by us before they’re erected. Both cemeteries are open broadly from dawn to dusk 365 days a year.

Opening times (weekends include Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays)

1 January to Spring clocks change

Weekends 8am to 4.30pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 4.30pm

Spring clocks change to third Sunday in April

Weekends 8am to 6pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 6pm

Third Sunday in April to 30 April

Weekends 8am to 7pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 7pm

1 May to 31 August

Weekends 8am to 8pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 8pm

1 September to 30 September

Weekends 8am to 7pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 7pm

1 October to Autumn Clock Change

Weekends 8am to 6pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 6pm

Autumn clocks change to 31 December

Weekends 8am to 4.30pm
Weekdays 7.30am to 4.30pm 

Earlham Crematorium

This facility is privately operated by Dignity plc. For information about Earlham Crematorium please see the Dignity website.

Benches and seats  

The city council is reviewing the provision of seats and benches in cemeteries to check their condition and to determine whether additional seats and benches are desirable. As a result we cannot currently accepting any requests for new seats and benches.


If you are conducting research and wish to look at historic records of burials, please contact the Norfolk Record Office at County Hall on 01603 222599 or email norfrec.nro@norfolk.gov.uk. The Record Office holds the following information: 

​Earlham Cemetery ​Rosary Cemetery
​Indexes ​1856 to January 1998 ​1821 to 1997
​Burial register ​30 December 1885 to 31 December 1970 ​November 1821 to October 1991
​Stillborn register ​1928 to 1997 ​-

It also holds grave books for each cemetery which date up to circa 1997-78. 

The Heritage Centre in the Forum library holds selected records and can be contacted on 01603 774740.

Registering a death

For help and information about how to register a death, go to the Registration services pages on the Norfolk County Council website, or vist www.gov.uk

Useful websites

Norfolk Record Office
Registration services