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The burial of a loved one is seen as locating them in their final resting place - where they will find peace and tranquillity. From time to time, due to various circumstances, it may be necessary to move the remains of an individual from a grave. This process is called exhumation.

Exhumation, in its simplest terms, means the removal from the ground of a body or cremated human remains. It also covers the disturbance of remains within a grave, particularly when a grave is reopened for burial.

We receive many applications each year to exhume human remains for various reasons. These range from personal family reasons through to mass exhumations for land developments. To exhume human remains, you must first apply for an exhumation licence. There are two types of licence available for exhumation - a Bishops Faculty and a Home Office Licence. Normally, you will either need one or the other, although there are certain circumstances where you may require both.

Contact the Register Office to apply for an exhumation

Last updated: 26/07/2022 15:43

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