Burial Authorities

(including Burial/Cemetery Board and Local Authority cemetery records)

Before the mid 19th century, most people were buried in church graveyards.  However, the population in some urban parishes had increased dramatically so that overcrowding in some churchyards was presenting a serious health risk by the 1850s.

The Burial Act of 1853 gave local authorities the power to open their own public cemeteries.  Vestries elected some ratepayers to serve on a Burial Board which administered the cemetery.  Many urban parish churchyards closed during the 1850s or thereafter as they became full and burials now took place in the Burial Board cemeteries instead.

In 1894, joint committees of members of the Urban (and Rural) District Councils and the Parish Councils took over the Burial Boards' duties and administered the cemeteries.  Since 1974, the District Councils have exercised this responsibility.

People of many different denominations are buried in local authority cemeteries.

The records of cemeteries relate to all aspects of the administration; not all include burial information for individuals. Please contact the appropriate archives for precise details of holdings.

Records are available for the following civil cemeteries but please note, many can only be seen on microfilm:

Alston: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library

Appleby: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library

Applethwaite, St Mary (Windermere): microfilm available at Kendal Library

Barrow-in-Furness: microfilm available at Barrow Archives 

Bowness, Westmorland: microfilm available at Kendal Library

Carlisle: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives, Whitehaven Archives and Kendal Library

Cockermouth: indexes of some burial grants and Anglican/Congregational burials available at Whitehaven Archives 

Crosscanonby: available at Carlisle Archives (microfilm at Whitehaven)

Dalton-in-Furness: microfilm available at Barrow Archives and Kendal Library

Garrigill: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library

Grange-over-Sands: microfilm available at Barrow Archives and Kendal Library

Grasmere: microfilm available at Kendal Library

Kendal (Castle St): microfilm available at Kendal Library

Kendal (Parkside): microfilm available at Kendal Library

Kirkby Stephen: available at Kendal Library

Maryport (Netherhall): microfilm available at Carlisle and Whitehaven Archives 

Nenthead: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library

Penrith: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library

Sedbergh: microfilm available at Kendal Library

Silloth (Causewayhead): available at Carlisle Archives 

Stanwix: available at Carlisle Archives 

Ulverston: microfilm available at Barrow Archives and Kendal Library

Upperby: microfilm available at Carlisle and Whitehaven Archives  

Warcop: available at Kendal Library

Wetheral: available at Carlisle Archives 

Whitehaven: microfilm available at Whitehaven Archives 

Wigton: microfilm available at Carlisle and Whitehaven Archives