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Exhumations

You will need legal permission to remove buried human remains from the ground.

You may need to have an exhumation:

  • for a cremation
  • for a forensic examination
  • to move remains to a new grave
  • to move remains outside of England or Wales

You will need a licence from the Ministry of Justice to move remains. If the remains are being moved outside England and Wales, you will also need a confirmation letter from the airline or shipping agent. Send Part A of the application to us and we will complete it to arrange for a licence.

You will need legal permission, also known as a faculty, from the local diocese to move remains from religious grounds belonging to the Church of England.

After you have received legal permission, an environmental health officer and the cemetery representative will be present at the exhumation to make sure it meets the conditions of the licence.

The exhumation may be cancelled if there are problems fulfilling the conditions of the licence  or for public health and decency concerns.