Some of the graves in Penarth cemetery are held by families on 99 or 75 year leases

Penarth Town Council is to offer to extend the existing leases (known as “Exclusive Rights for Burial”)  on grave plots in Penarth Cemetery.

From 1903 local residents and families had been able to purchase –  from Penarth Urban District Council  – 99-year leases giving them, or their descendants, exclusive rights for burial in designated grave plots.

Gravedigging at Penarth Cemetery. There are some plots with “nobody in them”

Subsequently Penarth Town Council – the successor of the Urban District Council – released new grave plots on shorter 75-year leases  .

Now it’s being proposed that on those graves where the lease is due to expire shortly, Penarth Town Council will write to the leaseholders  to ask them whether they wish to extend the lease for a further period of 30 years at a cost of £400 per renewal .

If the a lease is not renewed, and the council’s offer of an extension is not taken up,  the grave in question automatically reverts to Penarth Town Council as the burial authority.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) asked how many people in the next 5 years might be  likely to take up an extended lease.

Victoria Lawrence, the council’s principal venues and facilities officer ,said there were about 20 grave leaseholders to whom the council would be writing shortly .

She pointed out that some of the older (99-year)  leases  had already expired  – and that in some cases it had not proved possible to contact family members or friends to obtain a decision.

It has now been agreed that the council will write to the existing leaseholders at the earliest opportunity . This will enable the council to “stay in contact” with the grave owners. The council will also inform owners that although there might already be 2 or 3 interments already buried within a single grave, there would still be space for 4 to 6 cremated remains above .

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) asked whether there were any graves in the cemetery  “which don’t have any owners or nobody claims them ” . He was told that there weren’t any .

Councillors were told that a couple of  empty graves had been found for which the lease had expired but there was “nobody in there” .

There were also other unused graves which were empty but were still being held for the for the eventual use of the existing leaseholders.



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  1. Christopher -David says:

    So if they don’t renew- what will be done? And what about the grand ones with big statues! What will be done with the stonework?

  2. Christopher -David says:

    Hmm nobody knows eh! Even “Lesley”is quiet.

  3. Racist Mark (aka Mark Foster) says:

    As Dylan Thomas wrote, why worry about it!

    “And death shall have no dominion.
    Dead man naked they shall be one
    With the man in the wind and the west moon;
    When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
    They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
    Though they go mad they shall be sane,
    Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
    Though lovers be lost love shall not;
    And death shall have no dominion.

    And death shall have no dominion.
    Under the windings of the sea
    They lying long shall not die windily;
    Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
    Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
    Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
    And the unicorn evils run them through;
    Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
    And death shall have no dominion.

    And death shall have no dominion.
    No more may gulls cry at their ears
    Or waves break loud on the seashores;
    Where blew a flower may a flower no more
    Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
    Though they be mad and dead as nails,
    Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
    Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
    And death shall have no dominion.”

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