“A Quiet and Beautiful Spot Overlooking the Village”
Charfield Burial Ground was established in 2012 by the Parish Council, after many years of seeking land and funding. Located in Churchend Lane, at the top of the village, the burial ground meets the needs of local parishioners for the final resting place of residents, of all faiths and none, and those with strong connections to the village (eg left the village to enter a care home).
The burial ground slopes gently to the east, watching the rising Sun as it breasts the Cotswold escarpment, to sink behind it into the west. Part laid to grass and part laid to wildflower meadow, the intention is to encourage non-human inhabitants; butterflies, bees and other small creatures into the area, to enhance the environment.
Neither a ‘green burial ground’ nor a painstakingly manicured lawn, the site offers a beautiful place for families to remember their loved ones. Charfield Parish Council is the Burial Authority. For further information or to discuss individual needs, please contact the Clerk.
At Charfield Burial Ground we seek to offer a place to meet our villagers’ needs. From single and double depth burial plots, through cremation urn interments, to a rose garden where ashes may freely be scattered. Although the site is too small to consider woodland burial, we do have some sheltered areas with tree plantings beneath which plots can be located.
We have Planning Permission to erect an oak shelter at the top of the site. This building is scheduled for 2020/21 and will offer shelter during inclement weather, as well as a meeting place and potentially a home for small memorial plaques for those who choose to place them.
In keeping with our low impact ethos, there is no electricity or mains water on the site. However, a rainwater collection butt collects water from the roof of the adjacent church of St James. You are welcome to take water from there.
Likewise, we deliberately do not have litter bins on site, trusting that our visitors will take non-compostable waste away with them. The compost bins at the bottom of the field will take dead and faded flowers (but please! not plastic wrappers or flowerpots) once they are finished with at the graveside.
You can download a PDF of the burial ground layout here. We are currently interring on the west side of the ground (left hand side on layout sketch) and the central section is sewed with wildflowers and meadow grasses.
Once the west side is full we shall begin interring in the meadow section. Eventually we may have a largely wildflower burial ground. Cremation plots exist on both sides of the ground and again we are currently interring from the west side.
How to get here
Charfield Burial Ground is on Churchend Lane, just outside the main village that lies to the northeast. The best approach to the burial ground is by coming off the roundabout at Tafarn Bach (the junction of B4509 and B4058) to take the Churchend turn. The burial ground lies a third of a mile up the lane, on the left.
The nearest postcode to the burial ground is GL12 8LJ
If you were coming from the M5 motorway at junction 14, you would turn toward Yate then pass through Tortworth, arriving at the same roundabout. Churchend Lane is directly across the roundabout.
There is minimal parking on site – this is mainly for funeral hearses and the road gates are otherwise kept locked. Cars may be parked on the lane as long as they do not present an obstacle to traffic, or alternatively may be parked in the village (but then there is a consequent albeit lovely walk).
The site gently slopes and there are three steps down into the ground from the pedestrian gate. We accept this poses difficulties for wheelchair users and the road gate can be opened by prior arrangement to allow easier access for such visitors. The paths around the burial ground are grassed and therefore uneven in places. There are no toilet facilities on site.
Charfield Burial Ground is intended to operate with respectful awareness of the needs of both human and non-human users. We manage a facility that is caring, pleasant and efficient for the final resting place of our loved ones.
At the same time we seek to maximise the value of the site for the smaller mammals, reptiles, birds and insects that populate our landscape. We do this through appropriate planting and land management. Ultimately this enhances the site and benefits human and non-human alike.
The wet stone walls that border our burial ground are home to slow-worm and beetle. High overhead, swifts and swallows fly through the air catching insects in their chaotic aerial dance. At night, hedgehogs come out of the undergrowth and patrol the site at night under starry skies patrolled by bats.
Under the summer Sun, butterflies sip nectar from buddleia, scabious and thistle. The grasses and wildflowers are allowed to grow in areas not occupied by burial plots, and borders and rose garden are planted with colourful and bee-friendly varieties. Our wildflower meadow, like all natural spaces, can look beautiful or a little wild depending on the season. But even in the depths of winter, there is potential.