Burials, Scatterings and Memorial Services
Arnos Vale is a unique cemetery and beloved Bristol landmark.
Established at the start of Queen Victoria’s reign, its architects created a scenic garden for gentle recreation and respectful remembrance of those who had passed.
Following this tradition, Arnos Vale has been re-established as a serene final resting place, a beautiful natural landscape, and a welcoming location that encourages visitors to celebrate life and remember those who’ve passed.
Arnos Vale has also opened their first Natural Burial Woodland as part of the Association of Natural Burial Grounds adhering to a strict environmentally friendly code of conduct. For more information click here.
This page is an overview of the services we offer. It’s often easier to talk in person – our Cemetery Service Co-ordinator Vanessa Spencer is always on hand to talk through your requirements and answer any questions – please do not hesitate to call: 0117 971 9117
It is extraordinary, humbling and magical.
Arnos Vale is the best version of a cemetery I know and I am ‘glad’ to have them watching over some of my relatives.
BB, July 2015
Arnos Vale is one of a few cemeteries in Bristol that allows pre-purchase of plots as well as immediate burials in both the traditional cemetery and new Natural Burial Woodland
Grave plots are available in many areas of the cemetery and, of course, loved ones may be interred in an existing family plot within the grounds. We have also opened up a new Natural Burial Woodland for those wanting a more simple service, for more information click here
Funeral arrangements are usually handled by your Funeral Director. We are happy to discuss the location and availability of plots and we have good relationships with local undertakers. Your funeral director will usually help you order a headstone but we can also refer you to a recommended local stonemason.
FUNERALS & MEMORIAL SERVICES
You may hold a religious or non-religious memorial gathering at Arnos Vale.
Arnos Vale’s Grade II listed Anglican Chapel, with its simple, classic interior is a beautiful setting to hold a funeral or remembrance service.
Those who wish to feel close to nature can hold a service in our Woodland Centre nestled in the natural landscape of Arnos Vale. The buildings may be hired for as long as you need – from an hour to a full day. We can help to arrange music and catering on your behalf.
For those holding a Natural Burial in the new woodland there is also an area within the Natural Burial Woodland for a small ceremony
The living and the dead,
The awake and the sleeping,
The young and the old
are all one and the same.
BURIAL of ASHES
A new cremation plot to bury a casket of ashes can be purchased.
Plots hold two caskets so that a second person’s remains can be added when the time comes. If you have an existing family grave within the cemetery you may arrange for burial within the existing plot.
Cremation plots are marked with a memorial stone – we’d be pleased to talk through the options with you.
Cremation plots are also available in the new Natural Burial Woodland.
SCATTERING of ASHES
Arnos Vale has two peaceful and very well maintained Gardens of Rest close to Ceremonial Way.
Some families choose to have a small informal ceremony at the time of scattering – our staff are always on hand to say a few words to mark the occasion if you choose.
Others decide to have a memorial service or family gathering in the Anglican Chapel or the adjacent Spielman Centre. Both are Grade II listed classical buildings with high-ceilings and ample room for gatherings of up to 100 people. Arnos Vale does not have a crematorium.
Arnos Vale is a place to remember loved ones. We never forget that family is foremost at the time of the funeral and long after.
PLAQUES & MEMORIALS
There are a number of ways you can commemorate your loved one within the grounds of Arnos Vale.
You can place a plaque under one of our existing trees, or in the Gardens of Rest. A memorial bench is a lovely way to provide a relaxing place to remember those departed.
A plaque can be placed on our Memorial Wall. Our West Lodge houses Books of Remembrance in which you can include an calligraphic entry, whether your loved one’s final resting place is Arnos Vale or elsewhere. The pages of the books are turned daily to remember people who passed that day.
Arnos Vale is not run by Bristol City Council. You will be personally looked after by our team. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Cemetery Services Co-ordinator, Vanessa Spencer if you have any questions.
For those who are unable to tend their loved one’s grave regularly.
We provide a grave tidy service to remove all plants and weeds and ensure the path to the grave is accessible. This service can also be carried out for the grave of any person interred here over the last 170 years.
Thank you so much for your help with all the arrangements, and for your involvement in the ceremony – your words were just right for the occasion, we all appreciated them.
BOOKS OF REMEMBRANCE
Available in the West Lodge and scanned pages of the books of remembrance can be viewed online.
The Books of Remembrance are displayed in a dedicated room in our restored West Lodge. A page or two is allocated to each day of the year and the pages are turned daily. Historically, entries tended to be added on the date of death but you may like to add a loved ones entry on a date that is more significant to you such as a birthday or anniversary. You may also like to add a comment in your new entry about a previous relative who was added on another date, linking them together for future generations to see. We are more than happy to help or advise on wording and how entries can be linked in this way.
Each entry into the Books of Remembrance is hand-written in beautiful script and fine inks by a professional calligrapher. Entries are available in two, five or eight line additions with the option to add a flower, emblem, motif or coat of arms. Memorial cards and miniature books of remembrance are also available to order for those wishing to keep a record at home or to pass on to relatives or friends. The Books of Remembrance have been digitally scanned, so you can view records up to February 2010 and before from the comfort of your own home.
FAMILY RECORD SEARCH SERVICE
Get in touch regards locating the resting place of family members.
Arnos Vale maintains digitally scanned records of all burials and cremations from 1839 to August 2003. These, and the more recent records, can be manually searched by our trained staff to find information about the deceased.
There are five options for searching Arnos Vale Cemetery’s records, offering different levels of information. These range from a simple confirmation of burial or scattering, to full information including photographs.
For each search we need to know the full name of the person you wish to find and, if known, the date of burial or the year of death. Fees must be paid before the search is undertaken, and apply whether a record is found or not.
Please apply for a record search via the button below and send payment for the correct amount with reference to your search details. Cheques to be made payable to Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust. For any queries telephone 0117 971 9117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.