Biddulph Town Burial Ground/ Woodhouse Burial Ground
Biddulph Town Council welcomes all visitors to our Burial Grounds and requests that visitors respect the peace, dignity and reverence of the facilities.
Our Burial Grounds are communal spaces for quiet reflection and remembering loved ones.
Biddulph Town Burial Ground is situated at the rear of St Lawrence’s Churchyard, north of the town centre on the A527. There are spaces available for cremation interments in half graves or in the Garden of Remembrance.
Woodhouse Burial Ground is sited off Woodhouse Lane (at the rear of the bowling green on Congleton Road). It has a lawn style layout, with graves running foot-to-foot. The grass around them is kept mown by Biddulph Town Council’s grounds maintenance contractor. With the exception of the occasion of burial service, no flowers, plants or other items are permitted to be placed on or in the ground of the burial plot.
Woodhouse Burial Ground can be accessed from Woodhouse Lane (ST8 7DP) and St Lawrence’s from Congleton Road (ST8 7RG). A footpath connects the two sites through the woodland, Bateman Walk. Map of the 3 sites
The Town Burial Ground, Woodhouse Burial Ground and St Lawrence’s closed churchyard (a closed churchyard is a churchyard with no vacant plots; officially closed by the diocese) are all maintained by Biddulph Town Council.
Burials take place regularly. You may find graves being re-opened for a burial next to your family grave. Every effort is made to minimise any disruption to you and your family.
In addition, other activities may be being carried out (for example, monumental masons could be working graveside near to your family grave or our grounds maintenance contractors might be cutting the grass, or repairing pathways, etc). The main maintenance is the regular mowing which takes place between March and October, approximately every 2-3 weeks, accompanied by strimming around the graves.
It is not the ground maintenance contractors responsibility to clean memorials.
Sometimes, you may find the ground conditions wet and muddy due to the climatic conditions in which we live. We apologise for this, however, we do make every effort to alleviate the conditions by placing land drains within each section of the Burial Grounds.
Burial Grounds Opening Times
The gates to Woodhouse Burial Ground are open daily from 8.30am to 7pm.
What To Do When Someone Dies
We know that losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, but there are certain legal and administrative procedures that must be followed when someone dies.
Register the Death
The first step is to register the death. You must do this within 5 days (in England), including weekends and bank holidays. The registration should take place in the district where the person died.
Before you can do this, you will need a medical certificate. If the person died in hospital (and the death was expected), the hospital will give this to you. If the person died at home, you’ll need to contact their GP.
If there’s a coroner’s inquest, registration is delayed until the inquest concludes.
You’ll need the person’s medical certificate, full name, date and place of birth, last address and occupation and the full name, date of birth and occupation of their surviving/late spouse or civil partner, if they were married.
The Registrar can be contacted on 0300 111 8001. If the death was at the Royal Stoke University Hospital you can contact the Stoke-on-Trent Registrar on 01782 235 260.
The Registrar will provide the death certificate and a certificate for cremation or burial (the ‘Green Form’), which you’ll need to give to a Funeral Director.
See Staffordshire County Council’s website (www.staffordshire.gov.uk) for registration offices.
Arranging a Burial
Burials and the interment of ashes must be arranged directly with Biddulph Town Council or through a Funeral Director and a qualified grave digger (registered with the Town Council). Here’s links to the Town Council’s Policy and Notice of Interment Application Form:
How Much Does a Burial Cost?
Please see below a link to the Town Council’s burial and memorial fees:
The interment fee covers the updating of statutory burial records and Officer’s time. The memorial application fee is for the permit to erect or add to a memorial; this involves the memorial application being checked to ensure the applicant is the ‘Grave Manager’ and that the memorial and proposed inscription comply with regulations, and for ongoing maintenance and testing.
All memorials are subject to the approval of Biddulph Town Council. They must be installed or re-fixed in accordance with the current BRAMM specifications in accordance with BS8415. All stone masons working in the Burial Grounds must provide evidence of their registration with BRAMM or NAAM.
Here’s a link to the memorial application form – this can be used for new memorials or additional inscriptions:
The application must be signed by the ‘Grave Manager’/Next of Kin and the memorial mason, and submitted to Biddulph Town Council with the relevant payment (see burial fees above).
Safety testing of memorials (headstones) is carried out every five years (in line with guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The Town Council has an obligation to provide and maintain safe Burial Grounds. Tragically, there have been incidents in other areas of the country where children have been killed by falling memorials whilst playing in a cemetery. We therefore, need to make sure that memorials in our Burial Grounds and closed churchyard are not unsafe due to lack of maintenance or general deterioration.
Each ‘Grave Manager’ or their next of kin is responsible for keeping their memorial repaired and in a safe condition.
Safety tests involve giving each headstone a visual check to assess the condition of the memorial and a gentle ‘push-test’ to check that the stone is not in immediate danger of falling. The work is carried out carefully and with due respect.
Each memorial tested is recorded to indicate that the safety check has been carried out. The record includes the type and condition of the memorial and any action taken.
If a headstone is found to be unsafe the Town Council has a duty of care to make sure it is made safe as soon as possible because the Burial Grounds are a public place. Headstones that are in immediate danger of collapse may be laid down or supported with stakes to make stable pending repair. Those that require work to make them safe will display a warning notice. Please do not touch the memorial or stand it back up.
If you have a grave that has failed inspection we will have written to you at your last known address to inform you. If you have moved and have not advised us of your new address since purchasing the memorial or the ‘Grave Manager’ has died since purchasing the memorial, please contact us.
On 15 June 2023, the Town Council displayed a notice on the public noticeboard to advise residents of the parish of the intention to complete memorial testing within the St Lawrence’s Churchyard. This was based on the recommendation from the Diocesan Advisory Committee: DAC Notification of Advice – Biddulph St Lawrence. At the same time, the notice was also displayed at St Lawrence’s Church.
We understand how upsetting it can be for families to see work being carried out on a memorial to a loved one. We want to help people rectify their unsafe memorials as quickly as possible.
If you would like more information about this process, please contact the Town Council on 01782 498480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Memorial Bench Plaques
Plaques can be added to memorial benches in both Town and Woodhouse Burial Grounds. They cost £220.00 each. Submit your application (there’s a link below), together with your payment to Biddulph Town Council.
Local Funeral Directors
Alan Finneron Funeral Directors. 32 West Street, Congleton CW12 1JR. T: 01260 277622 E: email@example.com
C McGough & Sons. 69 High Street, Biddulph ST8 6AA. T: 01782 515155 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congleton Funeralcare (Co-op). 20 West Street, Congleton CW12 4ER. T: 01260 270290
Dolven Funeral Services Ltd. 31 Congleton Road, Biddulph ST8 6DY. T: 01782 379191 E: email@example.com
John Garside & Sons Funeral Directors (part of Dignity Funerals Ltd). 2 Cross Street, Biddulph ST8 7BD. T: 01782 513210 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samuel Sigley & Sons Ltd. Lyndhurst House, Queen Street, Leek ST13 6LS. T: 01538 382048 E: email@example.com
Williamson Brothers. Birch House, Birches Head Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 6LH. T: 01782 212880 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Memorial Masons
Congleton Memorials. Unit 2, Spring Street, Congleton CW12 1PS. T: 07595 919638
JBM Memorials. Victoria Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2HS. T: 01782 411106 E: email@example.com
Moorside Memorials. 8 Congleton Road, Biddulph ST8 6DX. T: 01782 522242
Nettlebank Memorials. Hanley Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 1SN. T: 01782 835394
Hart Memorials. 1 Stirling Street, Burslem, ST6 2EG. T: 01782 813388
The Dove Service. Offering counselling and support to people who have experienced a bereavement or significant loss. T: 01782 638155 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thedoverservice.org.uk
Bereavement Friendship Group. Helping to rebuild connections after loss. Talking openly to others who have experienced bereavement can help you reconnect to people, reduce feelings of isolation, and provide support to build a life around your loss. If you’d like to talk to others who are living with loss, a warm welcome awaits. For people aged 50+. Meet 10.30am to 12 noon on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the Council Chamber at Biddulph Town Hall. For more information contact Amanda T: 07867 003313 E: email@example.com
Social Inclusion & Bereavement Worker. Lynn is the ‘Outreach Worker’ based at Biddulph Methodist and Victoria Centre, providing advice and support for those who have been recently bereaved and/or are feeling socially isolated. Lynn’s role is to encourage engagement in community-based activities to improve the quality of life for the residents of Biddulph and the wider communities. For more information contact Lynn T: 07776 166990 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Advice & Information
A Child of Mine. Practical information, guidance and emotional support after a baby or child has died. T: 01785 283434 https://achildofmine.org.uk
Bereavement Advice Centre. Practical help when someone dies. T: 0800 6349494 www.bereavementadvice.org
Cruse Bereavement Care. Support, advice and information when someone dies. Working to enhance society’s care of bereavement people. T: 0808 8081677 www.cruse.org.uk
Grief Encounter. Support to bereaved children and young people. T: 0808 8020111 https://griefencounter.org.uk
NHS. Need medical attention? Call 111 or dial 999 in an emergency. For general medical information and advice, go to nhs.uk
Samaritans. A 24 hour confidential telephone helpline, also contactable via email. T: 116 123 E: email@example.com
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide. Providing dedicated support to adults who have been bereaved by suicide. T: 0300 1115065 https://www.sobs.org
Biddulph Town Council Officers are here to provide advice and support to families on a wide range of bereavement issues.
You can make a comment, complaint, give feedback (such as a suggestion or compliment) by contacting us on Tel: 01782 498480 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Biddulph Town Council is unable to recommend any local supplier, organisation or group