How much is a cemetery plot?

The loss of a loved one is always difficult to handle. Asking yourself ‘how much is a burial plot?’ is not a pleasant thought, but it is one you must consider. We all wish to do the lives and accomplishments of our newly departed ones justice. Of course, you might also be asking ‘how much is a burial plot for ashes?’, if the departed one’s preference was to be cremated. After all, you should heed the final requests of your beloved.

But whether it be a burial or a cremation, the one thing you should try to bear in mind is that the one you have lost would not want you to grieve too deeply, or for too long. Yes, it is nice to be remembered, but those left behind must get on with life once the formalities are over with. In all probability, that is what the departed one would want you to do.

Geographical location affects the cost

The answer to the question of how much is a plot in a cemetery? is that it will, to a large extent, depend upon the geographic location of the cemetery. Approximately 14,000 people pass away every year here in the UK. Many prefer to be interred rather than being cremated. Because of this, cemeteries all over the country are running out of space.

A study carried out by the BBC back in 2013 found that 25% of Local Authorities (responsible for the majority of cemeteries) predicted that by the year 2023, existing space would be taken up. Just going by the ordinary law of supply and demand, that means burial plots are going to become more expensive.

Reviewing the option of a natural burial ground

But there is something else you might consider asking yourself other than how much is a cemetery plot?, and that is what is a natural burying ground, and how much would that cost by comparison? Of course, money may not be the main driver, but it's certainly a major component for many that are planning a funeral.

Both you and your departed one may dislike cemeteries. You might prefer a natural burying ground from an ethical and aesthetical point of view. But there are additional things to take into consideration if you do want to explore the natural burial ground option.

Essentially, there are two types of natural burial grounds - truly natural, and nature reserve. With both types, it is a requirement that no embalming has taken place, and that coffins should be fully biodegradable. There are also some natural interment grounds where the planting of a tree is the rule. With such places, the tree is the only environmentally friendly rule that applies.

Natural surroundings are more pleasant

Rather than the grave being situated in amongst rows and rows of other headstones, natural ground consisting of meadows of wildflowers, new or existing woodland sites, or manicured parklands might be preferred. It is something that is becoming more popular, and as this option continues to grow, so too do management approaches concerning memorialisation and planting policy.

It is worth mentioning, however, that most natural burial grounds sit adjacent to existing cemeteries.

Costs of cemetery plots for remains and ashes

As mentioned previously, the costs of burial plots vary by location. To give you a guide, here are the figures published by various authorities for 2018/2019 for coffin burial.

  • London - £1,300 to £6,000
  • South of England - £700 to £1,500
  • Midlands - £1,200 to £5,000
  • North of England - £1,000 to £2,200
  • Wales - £700 to £800
  • Scotland £700 to £1,400
  • Northern Ireland - £150 to £1,900

Take note:figures shown above are for residents only.

With regard to burial plots for ashes in cemeteries across the UK, the guideline figures are as follows:

  • London - £400 to £1,400
  • South of England - £300 to £700
  • The Midlands - £600 to £1,400
  • North of England - £500 to £1,200
  • Wales - £300 to £400
  • Scotland £400 to £600
  • Northern Ireland - £40 to £200

As with burial sites for remains (non-cremated), the range of prices shown above is for residents only.

Costs of natural burial plots for remains or ashes

Let’s now take a look some guideline prices for burial plots in natural sites. First, plots for remains (non-cremated):

  • Cornwall - £650
  • Dundee - £395
  • Northumberland - £850
  • Suffolk - £700

While the range shown above is cheaper, other areas in the UK can cost in the thousands of pounds.

Natural burial plots for ashes are, of course, even cheaper, because the amount of ground used is considerably less. Typically, they vary between £100 and £500 per plot, but as with the other types shown above, they will vary from one geographical location to another and can, therefore, cost in the thousands.

How to go about buying a burial plot

The first thing to clarify is that you cannot normally buy a burial plot. It is usually the case that you purchase a lease to use that bit of ground for burial purposes - otherwise known as buying exclusive rights of burial. As the name implies, you may only use the plot for the interment of remains or ashes.

When you buy a plot with exclusive rights of burial, the lease period is normally somewhere between 25 and 99 years. In some areas, however, the lease may only have a 10-year duration - as in the City of London, for example.

The actual process of buying a burial plot will vary depending on the type of burial ground you prefer. In essence, there are three types of authorities you may need to approach.

  • With a conventional cemetery plot, you must approach either the relevant local authority or cemetery council.
  • If the Church of England runs the cemetery, they are the people to approach.
  • With natural burial places, the people to contact will be the landowners.

Everything we have discussed above relates only to the cost of buying a burial plot. If you would like to get an idea of the overall cost of a complete funeral, you can use the funeral cost comparator on the website.

The average price of a full cemetery funeral, (interment, service, plot, flowers etc.), according to the website, is £4,267; the average full cremation service cost is £3,247. To answer the question of what is the cost of a natural burial?, like other burial options, it varies according to geographical region. But to give you an idea, the costs charged by The Green Funeral Company amount to £2,300.

Tips on buying a burial plot

What is the cost of a burial plot? It varies, but there are things you can do to lessen the cost. The first tip we offer is to bury your loved where they were considered to be a resident, as this is less expensive. However, that may not be your prime concern, and you may wish to pay more for a plot which is more local to where you live to facilitate easier grave attendance and maintenance.

The other tip is to buy a burial plot in advance. This has two benefits. One is the fact that it will be cheaper to buy today than, say, in two or more years’ time. The second advantage is that you are more likely to get the plot you want, and that will also grant you peace of mind.