We operate 7 municipal cemeteries, these can be found in:
- Astley Bridge
Each site has new grave plots available together with smaller plots for cremated remains.
Tonge cemetery was the first municipal cemetery in Bolton when it opened on New Years Eve 1856 and was known simply as Bolton cemetery.
In 2002 the English Heritage organisation considered Tonge cemetery to be of sufficient historical interest to be placed on the Register of Parks and Gardens as a Grade II listed site. Its architect William Henderson also designed Corporation Park in Blackburn, Alexandra park in Oldham and Bolton’s Queens park.
Heaton cemetery is now the busiest cemetery in Bolton with around 250 interments per annum. The cemetery also contains dedicated areas for both religions and communities, these include Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian, Russian, Muslim and Hindu.
Organising a burial
It is often assumed that funerals can only be undertaken by a funeral director, however this is not the case. Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves.
The funeral director typically organises the funeral by collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and other elements. Carrying out these services relieves the bereaved from doing what they may feel are unpleasant and difficult tasks. Ultimately, the funeral director must operate commercially and in charging for his or her services, funerals can be expensive.
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director for a wide variety of reasons, such as:
- They may feel that passing the body of a loved one over to strangers is wrong
- Some feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person
- The family may simply wish to save money by doing everything themselves
- They may have used a funeral director on a previous occasion and found the experience unsatisfactory
- Some may feel that funerals arranged with a funeral director are routine and processed, and may desire an innovative and different approach.
The charter for the bereaved
We support the Charter for the bereaved published by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management. The charter sets out a minimum standard of service that the bereaved should be entitled to. As a member of the Federation of Burials and Cremation Authorities, Bolton Council is bound by the Code of Cremation Practice.
It is your right to organise a funeral without the use of a funeral director.
It is your right, as executor (or next of kin), to be given the body by a mortuary, hospital, etc, in order to carry out a funeral without a funeral director.
It is your right to obtain a coffin (minimum biodegradable type) via your Charter member.
It is your right to obtain a Personalised or Independent funeral leaflet form your Charter member describing how to arrange a funeral without a funeral director.
Charter members should ensure that the bereaved are aware of these rights, and that personalised or independent funerals offer social as well as financial benefits to the community.
Charter members should increase coffin choice wherever possible. The availability of a standard chipboard coffin is recommended, as well as a bio-degradable option. Coffins need not be stocked, provided a reliable source is identified. Where green burial options are offered, a bio-degradable coffin should be available.
Charter members may need to consider introducing a fee for Personalised or Independent funerals, to reflect any additional work arising over the absence of a funeral director.
Charter members should consider whether new funeral options can be offered to the bereaved, which reduces the monopoly control of funeral directors. The following services have been suggested for further consideration taking into account the limitations (ultra vires) imposed on local authorities:
- A body collection service without a traditional hearse, followed by cremation and the return or placement of the cremated remains;
- Having a hearse (or equivalent estate car) available for hire, to enable people to carry out funerals.
The Bolton Municipal Funeral Service is designed to provide professional standards at a reasonable cost.
The Service is available to people from the Borough who are to be cremated at Overdale or buried in a Bolton Council cemetery. All possible help will also be given to those who need to arrange a funeral outside the limits of the Borough.
Special arrangements are available for the Muslim population, where burials can take place in the Muslim area of Heaton Cemetery, immediately after death, at weekends or Bank Holidays in line with the requirements of the Muslim Faith.
Times are displayed in a 24 hour format.