Exhuming a grave

Exhuming means removing human remains from the ground. This could either a buried body or some cremated remains.

The reasons for exhuming human remains are usually to: 

  • move a body to a new grave
  • cremate a body 

You can also have an urn of cremated remains exhumed from a burial plot or the crematorium grounds.

It’s unlawful to exhume remains without the proper legal licences. There's also other documents needed. 

Please contact us if you're a family member wanting an exhumation. We’ll give you advice with the paperwork. There's a form that you may want to download and fill in first on the GOV.UK website. This will help you get a licence for the removal of buried human or cremated remains.

There is a fee for exhuming a grave. Please email bereavementservices@barnsley.gov.uk. You can also call (01226) 206053 for more details.

Coroner or Ministry of Justice licences 

In certain circumstances, a coroner or the Ministry of Justice can make a request to exhume a grave. It would be for investigation of the buried remains. 

If you discover human remains 

If you're doing excavation work and find human remains, contact the police straight away and stop working at the site.