Brian Parsons 2017

Independent researcher

Who is your neighbour? The issue of non-parishioner burial fees

The Burial Act 1852 created and empowered Burial Boards to provide cemeteries for the interment of those living within their parish. Financed by the fees from those interred, a higher non-parishioner charge was levied on those desirous of utilising the cemetery but not living within the Board’s boundary. Research has identified that although non-parishioner status remains today (and is now known as ‘non-resident’ burial), its intended purpose of preserving burial space through the deterrent of a higher charge has been subjected to wide interpretation. In addition to the purchase of graves and interment fees, it been applied to the use of facilities and also cremations. The additional cost could be double, triple or even quadruple the resident charge. Whilst this paper argues that the definition of non-resident status requires clarification and consistency of application, it also questions whether the concept remains fit for purpose.


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract