Changes to bereavement services

Although this will be very difficult for everyone, Bereavement Service are advising that the numbers of those attending should be kept to a minimum and only immediate family. A limit of 30 mourners has been put in place at the chapels. The limit will ensure that the UK Government’s social distancing measures are complied with.

Those over the age of 70 and those with under underlying health condition are strongly discouraged from attending in line with UK Government guidance.

Please do not visit Woodvale if you, or anyone in your household, is showing any symptoms including a fever and/or a continuous cough. 

Bereavement Services have removed all the hymn books from our chapels. An upgrade is being put in place to allow hymn lyrics to appear on the TV screens in the chapels. This applies to the 90 most popular hymns.

Download the list of hymns. If you require a different hymn then you need to add the lyrics to your Orders of Service.

Download more information on changes to our Bereavement Services.

Those unable to attend a funeral service at Woodvale Crematorium due to the current limit on the number of mourners can watch a live webcast of the service. To find out more, contact the team at Woodvale.
 

 

 

 

North and South Chapels

The North and South Chapels are adjacent to the crematorium building and located approximately quarter of a mile up the drive from the main Lewes Road gates. 

The Extra-Mural Chapel, which is also used for services sometimes, is in the Extra-Mural Cemetery and cannot be accessed from the main Woodvale gate. There is a separate sign posted gate earlier up the road, opposite the BP petrol station.

If you do not know which chapel you require for a service, it is advisable to contact the Woodvale Lodge Office on by phone 01273 604 020 or email woodvale@brighton-hove.gov.uk.

    In this photograph the North Chapel is on the left and the South Chapel is on the right of the main crematorium building

    Chapel facilities

    Built originally in 1856 and refurbished most recently in 2013, the North and South Chapels are either side of the main crematorium building.

    Each chapel has:

    • free parking including spaces for disabled badge holders
    • a waiting room with toilets (located opposite the South Chapel) 
    • seating for approximately 80 people
    • •    Visual tributes, live webcasts and keepsake recordings are available through Obitus (two working days minimum notice required) 
    • a screen to display images via the Obitus system
    • an electric organ
    • equipment to play music from CDs and MP3 players
    • disabled access and hearing aid loops

    North Chapel

    Unlike the South Chapel, The North Chapel is consecrated and features a stained-glass window and altar.

    South Chapel

    Terms of use

    • Services should be kept to 30 minutes. For longer services, a double booking will have to be made and an additional fee would be applicable to the basic cremation costs.
    • A use of chapel fee applies if being used for a burial service, memorial service only or if the coffin is then being taken on to a crematorium not operated by Brighton & Hove City Council.

    Hall of Memory 

    The Hall of Memory is situated behind the North Chapel and offers a sheltered place from the outdoors for reflection and commemoration.

    The books of remembrance, memorial panels and the bronze tree of remembrance are placed in the hall of memory. 

    See memorial options

    Getting to Woodvale Crematorium

    Woodvale Crematorium, Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3QB

    Directions

    Woodvale's main entrance is located about a mile from the city centre, on the Lewes Road (A270), Brighton, on the side of the road headed towards the city centre. Unless you need the Extra-Mural chapel (see below), use the main gate. There is sign-posting from all directions. A useful landmark near the main entrance is a yellow painted public house called The Gladstone. A Sainsbury's supermarket is opposite.

    See the crematorium and cemeteries map for location

    Parking and public transport

    Free parking is available at all the chapels, with sign posted space for disabled badge holders. Visitors should park on the left hand side of the one-direction driveways that approach and head away from the North and South Chapels. The Extra-Mural Chapel's parking is also on the driveway approaching the chapel.

    The nearest train station is Brighton station, which is about a 30 minute walk from the crematorium grounds or a short journey by taxi. Bus numbers 37 and 37b are the only routes linking the station and the crematorium, and stop near Woodvale's alternative Bear Road gate. Other bus routes which start from from the city centre (not going via the train station) are the 25, 28, 29 & 49. For further bus information see the Brighton and Hove Buses website.

    Opening times

    The grounds are open every day of the year.

    October to March

    • Monday to Saturday: 9am to 4pm
    • ​Sunday and public holidays: 11am to 4pm

    April to September

    • Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5.30pm
    • ​Sunday and public holidays: 11am to 5.30pm

    The Extra-Mural Chapel

    The Extra-Mural Chapel is a Grade II listed building in the Extra-Mural Cemetery, built in 1851, and set far apart from the main crematorium building. It can be used some days of the week for a service prior to cremation or burial, or for just a memorial service.

    It has seating for around 80 people and equipment for playing music from CDs and audio devices, with headphone sockets. There is free parking and public toilet facilities, including facilities for the disabled.

     

     

    The entrance gates to the Extra-Mural Cemetery are located between Newmarket Road and Gladstone Place.

    Please note that the Extra-Mural chapel cannot be reached by car from the Woodvale Crematorium main gate which is slightly further down Lewes Road and shares the same postcode.

    Free parking and toilet facilities (including those for the disabled) are available at the Extra-Mural Chapel.

    Terms of use

    • A chapel attendant cannot be provided by Woodvale to operate the audio equipment.
    • If the chapel is being used for a service prior to a cremation, the funeral director or the person making funeral arrangements will still be responsible for transporting the coffin from the chapel to the crematorium after the service. A time must also be booked in either the North or South Chapel at the crematorium for the arrival of the coffin. The regular fee will apply to the booking in the North or South Chapel and an additional 'use of chapel fee' applies to the use of the Extra-Mural Chapel.
    • There is no fee for using the Extra-Mural Chapel if it is to be followed by a burial at a Brighton & Hove City Council operated cemetery. 
    • A 'use of chapel' fee applies if being used for a memorial service only or if the coffin is then being taken on to a crematorium or cemetery not operated by Brighton & Hove City Council.  

    The grounds

    Based within the larger area of the Victorian-era Lewes Road Cemetery, Woodvale crematorium's grounds have been developed in a well wooded valley and contain many fine specimens of trees and shrubs. The area adjacent to the main North and South Chapels has been beautifully landscaped with lawns, a waterfall and stream, rockeries and flower beds to provide a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for those attending funerals. There is a Garden of Remembrance where cremated remains can be scattered or buried and memorials provided.

    The Extra-Mural Chapel is set apart in the bordering Extra-Mural Cemetery, which also dates from the Victorian era. 

    Children's Memorial Garden

    'This Garden is Dedicated to the Memory of all our Babies, Infants and Children - Forever Loved Always Remembered'

    A quiet corner of the Remembrance Garden at Woodvale Crematorium has been set aside and developed as a secluded garden for the strewing of cremated remains of infants, with provision for a small bronze memorial plaque to be placed in this area in commemoration of the child. 

    The children's memorial garden is available to all parents who have suffered the loss of a child, regardless of where the funeral took place, as the council appreciates the need for all parents to be united and to share each other's grief.

    Small toys, pot plants and personal memento's may be placed in the memorial garden, whenever parents consider it to be appropriate. Please do not place memento's in the flower beds or the grassed areas.

     

    Tomb and nature trail

    Visitors with an interest in the grounds may be interested in the Tomb and Nature Trail that takes walkers on a circular walk around grounds.

    Lewes Road cemeteries walk

    A walk in the Lewes Road Cemeteries brings back the past and much of the history of Brighton, in a way that few other places can.

    The Victorian burial grounds, set in 42 acres, are one of the most beautiful spots in Brighton - many of the notable monuments may be found by following a circular waymarked trail.

    A free Walker's Guide leaflet is available to order or download.

    The cemeteries are also a haven for a huge variety of wildlife, with trees, woodland and meadows, which are carefully maintained and managed to encourage wildlife to thrive in an urban environment.

    The trail starts in the Extra-Mural Cemetery, Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3QB.

    Please be aware that the pathways are steep in places. Toilets are available at the Woodvale Chapels. Dogs are not permitted in the cemeteries.

    History of Woodvale

    Woodvale was originally provided as the parochial cemetery for Brighton and opened in 1857.  The Brighton Burial Board was appointed on 7 May 1856 at the meeting of the Vestry of the Parish, when the Marquis of Bristol presented 20 acres of land to establish a cemetery.  The powers, duties and responsibilities of the Burial Board for the Parish of Brighton were transferred to the Brighton Corporation on 1 April 1902. 

    The Parochial Cemetery then became known as the Borough Cemetery, Lewes Road.  The grounds were developed in a deep natural valley and planted with many fine specimen trees.  In recent years, hundreds of flowering trees and shrubs have been added - set amongst the green slopes of the valley, they give colour and interest in every season of the year.

    Woodvale cemetery is listed in the National Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England as a Grade II site.The register is compiled by English Heritage with the aim of identifying important historic designed landscapes in order to increase aweareness of the existence of these sites, and to encourage their protection and conservation. The Register contains over 1,600 sites, 106 of which are cemeteries.  

    The original cemetery chapels, built in traditional Sussex flint, were adapted for cremation purposes in 1930 and Woodvale became the first crematorium to be established in Sussex and continues to be proudly owned and managed by Brighton & Hove City Council.

    Woodvale cemetery is designated as a Grade II site for the following principal reasons:

    • It is a good example of an early High Victorian (1856) public cemetery for a provincial town in informal picturesque style by R Wheeler of London.
    • The conjoined Gothic chapels form a focal point in the design, which makes the best use of a narrow valley in the South Downs.
    • Social interest is expressed in an artistic variety of C19 monuments including many Brighton worthies.
    • The cemetery layout and most structures survive intact.

    Cremations and memorials

    Arrange a cremation

    You should arrange a cremation through a funeral director or find out about your options at www.yourfuneralchoice.com

    If you need to contact Woodvale about a cremation you have arranged through a funeral you have already arranged, you can:

    Memorials

    Woodvale Crematorium has several choices for commemoration see our guide to memorials at Woodvale.

    Genealogy research at Woodvale Lodge

    We have a statutory duty to maintain our cemetery and crematorium registers in perpetuity. The registers contain a wealth of information, which can assist those undertaking the research of their ancestors. 

    The records date from 1851 until the present day and can provide details of

    • the final resting place of relatives
    • age
    • last known address
    • district in which the death was registered

    For birth and death certificate research see research your family history.

    Make an enquiry

    Please provide as much information as possible as most of the records need to be examined manually. The full names of the deceased and their date of death will usually provide staff with sufficient detail to carefully search the Registers.

    Should the person named in correspondence be traced, then a summary of the information recorded in the cemetery/crematorium books will be prepared and sent to the correspondent. Regrettably, in the event of a search being unsuccessful, any fees paid cannot be refunded.

    Download the genealogy research order form

    We hold records on the following cemeteries and crematorium, owned and managed by Brighton & Hove City Council

    Cemetery Address Opened
    Extra-Mural Cemetery Lewes Road, Brighton 1851
    Brighton Cemetery Lewes Road, Brighton 1857
    Brighton Cemetery Bear Road, Brighton 1868
    Portslade Cemetery Victoria Road, Portslade 1873
    Hove Cemetery Old Shoreham Road, Hove 1882
    Woodvale Crematorium Lewes Road, Brighton 1930
    Lawn Memorial Cemetery Warren Road, Brighton 1963
    Jewish Cemetery Extension Meadow View, Brighton 1978

    Enquiry charges

    The following charges will apply:

    Type of research Cost
    For undertaking a search of a named person £23
    For undertaking a search of each subsequent person £15
    For providing a plan of the cemetery, indicating the location of the grave-space £15
    For providing a colour digital image of the grave-space (there may not always be a memorial but the grave area will be photographed)

    Forms and publications

    Forms for burial, cremation and family history research

    Most forms for burial and cremation will be completed by funeral directors. If you need to complete any of these forms yourself, we will tell you which forms you need.

    Publications