Cemetery services are carried out by Broxbourne Environmental Services Trading Ltd. (BEST) on behalf of Broxbourne Council.
The Borough of Broxbourne provides a comprehensive cemetery service that includes management of the cemeteries and chapels at Cheshunt and Hoddesdon, liaison with funeral directors and administration of deeds and records.
Staff are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the recently bereaved and conduct themselves in a caring and efficient manner. Cemetery records are available for public inspection during office hours.
The cemetery service provides:
- a choice of lawn, conventional or brick graves
- graves for cremated remains
- provision for child and foetal remains
- choice of consecrated or unconsecrated ground
- the option to pre-purchase plots
- the option to select specific plots
- an optional maintenance service for conventional graves
- a chapel at each cemetery, available without charge for funerals
- Saturday funerals (upon request - supplementary payment)
- a water supply and watering cans for visitors to the cemeteries
- public conveniences at each cemetery
- professional liaison with funeral directors and clergy
- administration of deeds and burials
Staff are available to meet customers at the cemeteries to assist with plot selection and pre-purchase arrangements. The cemetery manager will be available at Hoddesdon cemetery on Tuesday mornings from 9am until 10.30am, and at Cheshunt Cemetery on Thursday mornings from 9am to 10.30am or by appointment.
Download the 2018/2019 Cemeteries Fees and Charges
Download the Cemetery Regulations
The chapel and the cemetery can usually accommodate special requests. For example, funerals may be arranged for Saturdays, special cultural or religious customs can be respected and ecologically friendly funerals and interments can be arranged. The cemetery staff should be contacted to discuss your special requirements.
Pre-purchase of plots
All available plots may be pre-purchased for future interment. You may wish to plan ahead for yourself or for your family, ensure the availability of a specific plot, or reduce the costs of a future purchase.
The Borough of Broxbourne is committed to providing an excellent cemetery service and is offers a wide range of interment options at both Cheshunt and Hoddesdon Cemeteries.
Lawn graves are located together in each cemetery. These graves consist of a grassy plot with a concrete foundation at one end on which a memorial* can be erected. It should be noted that all lawn grave memorials in the cemetery are placed back to back to permit viewing. As coffins are interred facing east, this could mean that the memorial is erected at the foot of the grave rather than the head of the grave. Please note that memorials should not exceed three feet in height.
The planting of flowers, shrubs or other vegetation is only permitted within six inches of the concrete foundation landing. Spring bulbs may be planted under the grass - these will be cut down four to six weeks after flowering finishes.
Conventional graves are located in the conventional grave section of the cemetery. These traditional graves may have a full kerbed memorial, a headstone with a garden or grass (grass will be cut by cemetery staff), or simply a garden. However, the ground should be left to settle for about one year following burial before any form of memorialisation takes place.
Conventional grave memorials can be as large as six feet, six inches long by two feet, six inches wide in Cheshunt Cemetery or seven feet by three feet in Hoddesdon Cemetery. With conventional graves there is no foundation supplied by the Borough of Broxbourne and a monumental mason is required to supply and lay your chosen memorial.
Brick graves are constructed to a maximum size of nine feet long and four feet wide or multiples of four feet, with a standard sized memorial at ground level. These graves will be located in a conventional section of the cemetery.
Extra fees are payable for the construction and the right to construct brick graves.
A special area has been set aside at each cemetery for cremated remains. The Cremated Remains Garden at Cheshunt Cemetery and the Garden of Rest at Hoddesdon Cemetery both provide space for burying ashes or simply erecting memorials* where ashes have been scattered elsewhere.
An 18 inch square tablet is the standard memorial for the Cremated Remains Gardens.
Ashes may also be buried in half size lawn or conventional graves if a different memorial is preferred. For example, a standard headstone on a lawn grave may be erected over buried ashes or a conventional grave with kerbs and a headstone may be erected. These graves will be located in the appropriate sections of the cemetery.
Should a family member of the deceased wish to be buried rather than cremated, the ashes can be buried in a full grave space instead. This would allow for up to four coffin interments to take place in the future in addition to the burial of the ashes.
*Please note that memorials must be of solid, natural stone and erected by an authorised momumental mason.
Both cemeteries have a special area set aside for children's graves. These include both lawn and conventional graves. Child graves are based on a half plot size.
Both of the Borough of Broxbourne's cemeteries also offer a choice in the type of ground where the grave can be located.
- Consecrated ground has been blessed by the Bishop of the Church of England. There is no restriction on who may be buried on consecrated ground, but it is generally used by Church of England parishioners.
- Unconsecrated ground has not previously been blessed and is available to anyone. Graves can be blessed at the time of interment by the deceased's chosen minister of religion.
The Community Mausoleum at Cheshunt Cemetery includes mausoleum chambers, cremated remains niches and a wall for memorial plaques. To make a purchase or for further information, please email email@example.com or telephone 01992 785507.
All memorials erected on graves within the cemeteries must be and remain in a safe, sound and stable condition. Memorials remain the property of the grave owner (the purchaser, and subsequently their heirs and successors), but the Council as the land owner is responsible for ensuring that the grounds are safe for visitors and staff. In the event of any memorial falling and injuring (or killing) anyone, both the grave owner and the Council would be liable to prosecution.
For the above reasons, all memorials with any upright part (eg. a headstone or cross) are tested for safety every five years using a device known as a topple tester, which pushes against the memorial with a force of 35kg. To date approximately 90 per cent of the memorials have passed this test, but in the event of failure the memorial will be made temporarily safe and the owner advised that they must get the memorial repaired.
British Register Of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM)
To help ensure that all memorials are installed properly in the first place, Broxbourne Council is subscribing to a new scheme managed by the National Association Of Monumental Masons (NAMM). Masons must pass strict practical tests and apply vigorous business practices and insurances to become a member of the accredited monumental masons (BRAMM).
Only BRAMM registered monumental masons will be permitted to install or perform structural works to both existing and new memorials within the Borough's cemeteries.
All local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that all persons that die within their area of responsibility are buried or cremated within a reasonable period. In the great majority of cases, the deceased will have relatives who will (or must) undertake this necessity, or will have left funds and instructions for it to be undertaken on their own behalf. However, occasionally someone will die who leaves no relatives and no money or property. In these instances, the local authority must fund and arrange the disposal of the body, in a dignified and sensitive manner, and complying as far as possible with any last known wishes of the deceased. This task falls within the remit of the Environmental Health department of the local authority, who should be contacted for further details by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01992 785577.
The remains of deceased persons are protected by law from disturbance, and cannot be removed from their place of burial without due authority. For a body (or cremated remains) buried in unconsecrated ground, this authority is a licence issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. For consecrated ground, it is a faculty issued by the diocese in which the cemetery lies. In rare cases, both are needed. In all cases where it is proposed to exhume remains, the cemetery authority should be contacted in the first instance.
Friends groups of local cemeteries
If you have some spare time, have loved ones at rest in Hoddesdon or Cheshunt Cemetery or want to learn more about your local history and wildlife, consider volunteering at your local cemetery. To join a Friends group, please email email@example.com or telephone 01992 785507.