High Wycombe Cemetery
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Burials at High Wycombe Cemetery
On 19th April 2020 Public Health England issued revised guidance on managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19 infection amongst those attending. These actions include:
- restricting the number of mourners to be as low as possible to ensure a safe distance of at least 2 metres (6 ft) can be maintained between individuals.
- alongside the Funeral Director, Cemetery attendants and funeral staff only the following should attend:
- members of the person’s household.
- close family members.
- or if the above are unable to attend, close friends.
- attendance of a celebrant of choice, should the bereaved request this.
In order to help us meet these requirements the number of mourners attending funerals should be no more than approximately 10.
Social distancing for mourners
Social distancing measures are actions to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) including:
- ensuring that you are at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from others.
- following the guidance on hand hygiene and preventing the spread of infection:
- wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas.
- when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or the crook of your sleeved arm (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.
In any event please DO NOT to come to the Cemetery if you have any of the well-publicised symptoms.
Our office is now closed. Processing of memorial applications and other non-essential matters are temporarily suspended. Also we are receiving a much higher than normal number of enquiries and the pressure on our staff will increase as the situation develops so please do not call us about non-urgent matters.
The Cemetery remains open to visitors but please only visit if absolutely necessary. We apologise for all these restrictions and curtailments to our usual services and thank you for your support and cooperation.
If/when there is any change to this advice, it will be updated as soon as it happens.
We maintain High Wycombe Cemetery which includes the Snowdrop Garden. The cemetery covers an area of 17 hectares (42 acres) of hillside near the centre of the town and is the only cemetery that we own where interments still take place.
The main entrance to the cemetery is on Hampden Road (HP13 6SX), accessed from Benjamin Road. There is also an entrance for vehicles on Priory Road and an exit on Hamilton Road.
Pedestrian entrances are situated on Hampden Road, Benjamin Road, Priory Road and at the Benjamin footpath (access from Shrubbery Road).
Only the Hampden Road gates are open during official opening times. The other gates will only be opened by arrangement, usually for funerals where a large attendance is expected.
The cemetery is open from 8am (10am on Sundays and public holidays) until sunset (as defined by us) or 9pm, whichever is the earlier. The closing time is posted on the gates as it changes throughout the year.
Please note: due to the size of the cemetery it is necessary to begin closing the gates about ten minutes before the official sunset closing time. The Hampden Road gate is the last one to close. All visitors are requested to depart at least five minutes before the last gate is closed.
A plan of the cemetery may be seen by arrangement, free of charge, at the cemetery office at Hampden Road, High Wycombe. The office is open from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Thursdays and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays.
Visiting a grave
The cemetery has been terraced to provide level ground for burials, but the roads and footpaths can be steep in places and access can be difficult, especially in bad weather. Please discuss special access arrangements with the Cemetery Officer in advance.
- All visitors to the cemetery must keep to the roads and footpaths, except while visiting a grave.
- Any person found conducting themselves in a noisy or disorderly manner will be asked to leave the cemetery. The police will be called in the event of a criminal act taking place
- No children under the age of 12 will be admitted except under the care of a responsible adult, who must ensure their good behaviour at all times
- Dogs are not permitted (except guide dogs)
- Bicycles are not permitted
- The manager has the right to forbid the entry of any unauthorised hearse, coach or other vehicle into the cemetery.
There are public toilets available near the Hampden Road entrance. The disabled toilets can only be accessed using a "radar" key.
Finding a grave
The cemetery officer can help you to find a grave. If you wish to conduct a search, please email or telephone us in advance with as much information on names and dates as you can provide.
Buying a grave plot
The purchasing of a plot for burial or ashes is usually carried out by an appointed funeral director on behalf of the deceased's family. If you are not using a funeral director, please contact us to discuss your requirements and to obtain prices.
When a purchase is made, it is for the exclusive rights to inter into a designated plot for a fixed time period. The owner of the burial rights may purchase a memorial and any memorial must be approved by us before installation. Local masons can advise on the regulations governing memorials.
We are responsible for health and safety in High Wycombe Cemetery and conduct regular testing and inspection of the stability of memorials and safety of plots. It is therefore essential that we can contact the owner of a plot or memorial if any problems are found. Changes of address or ownership should be notified to us immediately, so that records can be kept up-to-date.
The Snowdrop Garden
The Snowdrop Garden is a section for the interment of babies, still born babies and young children.
It is situated off Benjamin Road, High Wycombe. This memorial garden is a separate section of High Wycombe cemetery, which is used for the interment of babies, stillborn babies and young children. It provides a quiet spot for families wanting to remember their babies.
Maintaining the garden
The garden is managed on the "lawn principle" where graves are kept free from obstructions to permit frequent mowing of the grass. The cemetery officer will carry out routine inspections and any objects removed to allow mowing will be stored in the office at the Hampden Road gates, where they may be collected by arrangement during office hours.
As with the main cemetery, permission to inter remains in a specific plot is allocated to a named person. This is not however right of ownership. Ownership of burial rights lies with the local NHS Trust and it is the Trust that allocates a burial plot to the bereaved. Ownership of the land itself remains with us.
We are responsible for health and safety, the maintenance of the garden and enforcement of regulations.
Written permission may be obtained for the temporary erection of a wooden cross, provided an application is made at the same time for a natural stone memorial. A memorial mason acting on the instruction of the named person normally makes the application.