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Exhumation Services with Renowned Professionalism

Exhumation is the removal of human remains from any burial place. We work alongside the Highways Agency, Local Authorities, construction companies, architects, Church diocese, Cemetery Authorities, religious organisations, overseas embassies, and families to identify bodies, transfer remains to another grave, cremate the deceased and more.

Rowland Brothers have over 140 years experience in exhumation services and have built strong relationships with leading specialists to deliver the best possible service. Our highly regarded team of uniquely trained managers offer market leading support and advice, while ensuring each exhumation is efficiently carried out to all legal and regulatory requirements.

Whilst maintaining the utmost respect for the dignity of the deceased, Rowland Brothers Exhumations ensure the highest standards of integrity and professionalism are at the heart of every task, be it an individual or multiple exhumation service.

Archaeological Services from the UK’s Foremost Archaeological Consultants

Rowland Brothers Exhumations have worked with leading archaeological consultants, Oxford Archaeology, to design a comprehensive training program for our Corporate Exhumations team to ensure the correct technical removal of human remains.

All staff receive appropriate inoculations and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) as well as full CSCS training and accreditation. RBE has full Public Liability Cover provided by Ecclesiastical Insurance.

The Rowland Brothers Exhumations team is equipped to exhume human remains from any environment. Our expertise allows us to assist in single and mass exhumations within cemeteries and major infrastructure project sites.

Free Exhumation Licence Application

Rowland Brothers offer practical advice on the process and legalities involved with exhumations and will make applications and enquiries to the appropriate authorities whenever required.

We provide free licence application assistance to help you with the documentation required to apply for an exhumation.

Rowland Brothers Exhumations work together with clients to find the most appropriate way to achieve the desired outcome. As accredited members of the National Association of Funeral Directors, the British Institute of Embalmers and the National Association of Memorial Masons, we are committed to delivering a professional and efficient service, with dignity and respect.

Frequently Asked Questions

Exhumation, in funeral terms, is the removal or disturbance of interred human remains, whether full body or cremated, from the current place of burial.
Every exhumation is different and will incur a unique set of charges depending on where, when & how the exhumation takes place.

The overall charges also depend on the purpose of the exhumation and the arrangements following the exhumation.

In general, an exhumation from a municipal cemetery in the UK will cost approximately £3,000 – £4,000, but can be considerably more.

An exhumation may be required to investigate the deceased (by police or Coroner) or to obtain DNA samples for personal or professional analysis (such as paternity issues and disputes).

More often, an exhumation is required to correct a mistake at the time of burial, such as burial in the wrong grave, or to allow related deceased to be buried together.

Exhumation may also be desired to assist visiting of the grave by relatives who are no longer able to travel to the site of the burial (Although this reason is frowned upon by the Church of England).

Exhumation can be authorised by the Church of England if the burial is in ground consecrated by the church, or by the Ministry of Justice if the ground is unconsecrated.

There are also provisions made for the exhumation of ancient remains in certain circumstances involving disused burial grounds and archaeological excavations.

Exhumation usually takes place early in the morning (to minimise public curiosity) and will involve cemetery staff, a Funeral Director and staff, as well as an Environmental Health Officer to ensure the arrangements are conducted in a safe and respectful manner.

The area of exhumation will be screened from public gaze and, if the exhumation is from a public cemetery, the cemetery may be closed until the completion of works.

‘Unknown Male’ of Whitehaven.

By Michael.A.Gill. Special Projects Manager. One morning, in the winter of 1986, the body of a middle-aged man was found on the beach near Whitehaven in Cumbria. A sad but not necessarily unique occurrence. The [...]

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