Deaths, Funerals and Burials
17th August 2020 - Latest Update regarding burial fees:
It has been agreed to continue using last year's fees for burials and memorials until March 2021, when we will review the Coronavirus (Covid 19) situation.
The Govenrment have issued guidlines stating up to 30 people can attend a graveside burial whilst maintaining the social distance required of two metres apart. Please also note that if you are in self isolation because someone in your household is ill you may attend the burial if you do not have symptoms yourself, however, if you do have the Coronavirus (Covid 19), you will not able to attend the burial.
During the current Coronavirus (Covid 19) situation, Magdalen Hill Cemetery is continuing to open as usual for visitors to the Cemetrey. For our opening hours please see below.
Important Notice: Due to the Coronavirus (Covid 19), we are unable to receive any post or cheque payments for funerals.
All Funeral Directors, please email all interment forms and burial/cremation certificates to the same email above and when you arrive at the Cemetery, place the originals in the post box at the Lodge. Payments are only BACS or credit cards, if you do not have an account with us.
We aplogise for any inconvenience caused, but hope you understand due to the current situation.
Purchasing of a burial plot for immediate use
When you purchase a grave or a cremation plot either through a Funeral Director or you are arranging an ashes burial yourself, please note that you are only purchasing the Excluisve Right of Burial and not the land. The land remains in the ownership of the Council. Please see our Cemetery Regulations items 7 and 10, on the right hand side of this page for full fee details.
Also if the deceased has not resided for many years in Winchester, the fee for the burial will be determined as to where the deceased lived at the time of their death and not for how many years previoiusly they may have lived in WInchester. This is due to council tax contributions.The exceptions to this are detailed below under Reisdential Care Homes.
Residential Care Homes cemetery fees
For all residents within Levels 1, 2 & 3, who have moved into a Hampshire County Council run Care Home or in a Hospice will be charged fee Level 1.
Those residents who reside within Level 1 and have moved into a private care home will be charged Fee Level 1.
Those residents who reside within Level 2 but who have moved into a private care home within the last 2 years only will be charged Fee Level 1, if they have lived longer than the 2 years in the private care home they will be charged the Level 2 fees.
For those who reside within Level 3 but who have moved into a private care home will still be charged Fee Level 3.
Please see our fee chart on the right in the Documents area of this page.
The reasons for the fee structure are:
- Following local government re-organisation in 1974, the then City Council merged with part of Winchester Rural District Council and the Droxford Rural District Council.
- The former City Council area now comprises the Winchester Town Wards and the other areas have parish councils, including Olivers Battery. At that time it was agreed that the provision of cemeteries should be the responsibility of the parishes, should they wish to provide them. The cost if any, would be met by the parish council precept and not through the District Council Tax rate. The Winchester Town Wards also pay a separate levy for the services that are provided elsewhere in the District by the parishes.
- Magdalen Hill and Westhill Cemeteries are, therefore, funded by residents in the Winchester Town area and not by residents in parished areas, including Olivers Battery.
- There is a difference in the Council Tax payable in the Winchester Town Wards compared to those outside the area, and It is up to each parish to decide whether they provide their own cemetery, meeting the costs involved and many do.
- It is a normal practice for councils to charge double rates for burials from outside the area of the burial authority. Indeed, some councils use a triple rate charge.
- If you are on low income and need help with funeral costs, please see information sheet in the Documents area of this page. This will give you advice and contact addresses that you need.
- Please note when you purchase a new grave plot, the fee is for the grave and the first interment only, future re-openings for interments will incur a fee as per the fee chart.
Cemetery opening hours and latest times for Burials
Cemetery Opening Hours
Westhill Cemetery, St James Lane, Winchester
- Throughout the year 7am until 10pm
Magdalen Hill Cemetery, Alresford Road, Winchester
- November - February 8am until 4pm
- April - September 8am until 7pm
- March and October 8am until 5pm
The Latest Times for a Burial at Magdalen Hill Cemetery
- October & March 3.pm
- December, January and February 2.30.pm
- April, May, June, July, August and September 3.30.pm
- Last Burial on Christmas Eve 11.am
- Last Burial on New Years Eve 11.am
Public Health Funerals
Under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 the local authority 'must cause to be buried or cremated the body of any person who had died or been found dead in their area, in any case where is appears to the authority that no suitable arrangements for the disposal of the body have been or are being made otherwise than by the authority'.
In such cases we will arrange and pay for a simple but respectful funeral to keep costs to a minimum. Where the we have arranged and paid for the funeral, we may recover from the estate of the deceased person any expenses incurred.
We receive a large number of requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOI Act) where the requestor seeks information about public health funerals.
In order to reduce the amount of time taken dealing with these requests, basic details of all public health funerals arranged by this Council since 1 January 2010 will be displayed on the website - please see 'List of Public Health Funerals' download. In most cases, this list will be updated within seven days from notification of death. In practice this Council deals with very few cases where there is no next of kin and where the case is subsequently referred to the Treasury Solicitor.
People who make Freedom of Information requests will be referred to this page. If further information is required about a particular case, you should contact the Head of Environmental Health & Licensing (details below).
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the last known address has been withheld under the following exemption:
- Section 31(1)(a) - Law enforcement (prevention and detection of crime). Winchester City Council will not disclose details of the full last known address of the deceased as the address if unoccupied might still contain the deceased's personal effects. Winchester City Council does not believe it to be in the public interest to disclose information relating to unoccupied properties where releasing that information into the public domain could prejudice the prevention of crime.
All deaths have to be registered with the Register Office.
If you require details for a particular case, please write to; Service Lead for Public Protection, Winchester City Council, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, SO23 9LJ or email; firstname.lastname@example.org
As of 1 February 2016 it is no longer possible to offer pre-purchased grave plots at Magdalen Hill Cemetery, Winchester.
This decision has been made after considerable thought and whilst we recognise the change in procedure may cause disappointment, offering pre-purchase graves in the past now means many cannot be used. This is because they have been legally purchased but for a variety of reasons no one has been or can be buried within the plot.
The cost of providing new cemeteries and the difficulties associated with gaining planning permission are such that it is essential we accommodate as many future burials as we can within the extension area, hence the need to change our procedure.
If you would like to discuss this further please contact Marriam Baxendale, Land Charges & Cemetery Manager on 01962 848 281.
Advice on home burial
There is no legal reason why you should not be buried on your own land from an environmental health viewpoint.
Your wishes for burial will need to be outlined in your will or some other legal document which specifies your requirements. To ensure your executors meet your wishes, it is suggested that prior arrangements are made with undertakers who are sympathetic to this type of burial.
You will need to contact the Environment Agency by emailing email@example.com or by phoning 0870 850 6506 to check the burial site is not be located close to any water course as there may be a risk of future contamination.
Planning permission is not required for one or two burials as there is unlikely to be a material change of use. However, if any monuments are planned at the site then planning permission may be required. For further advice please contact the council’s Planning Department by our web site http://www.winchester.gov.uk/planning or phone 01962 848 177.
It is possible that the land could be developed at a later date. It is important that an informative be added to the land registry so that a permanent record is available for future purchasers. You should write to the Land Registry at Weymouth Office, Melcombe Court, 1 Cumberland Drive, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9TT or phone 0844 892 1111. The precise location of the grave should be marked on a plan and attached to the deeds of the property.
Burials must be registered in accordance with the Registration of Burials Act 1864. Although a private piece of land might not be a burial ground as stated in the Act, it might be regarded as one if a burial takes place on it. It is therefore sensible for the burial to be recorded in accordance with the Act.
The death will need to be registered with the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages as usual and the certificate returned to them recording the place of burial.
Contact The Natural Death Centre at 6 Blackstock Mews, Blackstock Road, London, N4 2BT or phone 01962 712690 for further information such as burial at home, independent funerals and undertakers who are sensitive to this form of burial.
Maintenance of Magdalen Hill Cemetery
The cemetery staff regularly cut the grass in the cemetery; the frequency of cuts is dependant on weather and the number of burials taking place. This practice mainly occurs between March and October.
We do not collect grass cuttings in order to protect memorials, preserve and encourage wildlife and plants.
We now offer a service to top-up and re-turf or re-seed as appropriate, sunken graves in the cemetery that are over 5 years for a fee of £30.00 plus VAT = £36. For more details please contact the burial department on 01962 848316 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health & Safety Within the Cemeteries
Winchester City Council operates an all year round health and safety policy of assessing all memorials and grave plots in both Magdalen Hill and West Hill Cemeteries. Please note, it is the responsibity of the owner and family to maintain the grave plots and keep well maintained and tidy.
Winchester City Council reserve the right to lay flat, stake up or remove all unstable and or dangerous memorials as is deemed necessary, including broken kerbstones or grave surrounds.
Winchester City Council reserve the right to tidy overgrown grave plots as necessary by means of trimming back and or rmoving shrubbery.
Winchester City Council will make every attempt to contact the owner of such memorial or graves by means of a letter informing the owner of any action that has been taken, giving the owner the an opportunity to rectify the problem. However, should the Burial Department not recieve a response to any notification within a 30 day period, there will be a charge placed upon the grave (see below) and no further interments or memorials will be permitted until such time as the charge has been cleared.
Staking £60 inclusive of VAT
Laying Flat £84 inclusive of VAT
Removal/moving of kerbing £84 inclusive of VAT
Tidying of overgrown plot £50.40 inclusive of VAT
For further information or any query regarding burials, please contact
Cemeteries Department on 01962 848316 Monday to Friday or Email email@example.com