Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

Portsmouth has three cemeteries, Milton Road, Kingston and Highland Road, although the latter no longer accepts new burials. The nearest crematorium is Portchester crematorium.

On this page, you will find information on cemeteries, memorials and books of remembrance.

For more information, email or phone the cemeteries office on 023 9273 2559.

Visitors - please note

  • Vehicle access and parking is for cemetery visitors only
  • Vehicles are requested to remain on the main drive
  • Please do not drive on the narrow pathways as it damages them and the adjoining grave spaces.  It is also unfair to those using them as it obstructs their right of way.  If you or your passenger is disabled, contact the cemeteries office where a route can be agreed.
  • Vehicle gates remain closed when Portsmouth Football Club plays home games on Saturday or Sunday. On midweek match days the vehicle gates are locked at 4pm.  This is necessary to prevent unauthorised car parking.
  • Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times to control fouling and so as not to intimidate other cemetery users or run uncontrolled over graves.
  • We constantly receive complaints about dog faeces on graves which can be very upsetting for people so please pick up and use the red dog bins provided.


All three cemeteries open at 9am all year round - closing times vary:  

MonthsAll cemeteries close at:
February  5pm
March  6pm
April  7pm
May to August  8pm
September  7pm
October  6pm
November to January  4pm

Information about our cemeteries

Highland cemetery - Highland Road, Southsea, PO4 9AH 

Also known as Eastney cemetery.

  • Graves of historical interest with many decorated servicemen and women, associates of Dickens and royalty buried here
  • The last available plot was used in 1956 but existing family plots are still re-opened and used
  • Opened in 1854 and 17 acres in size


Kingston cemetery - St Mary's Road, Fratton PO1 5PQ 

Also referred to as Portsea or St Mary's cemetery.

  • Holds approximately 400 burials per year
  • Opened in 1856 and, at 52 acres, is Portsmouth's largest cemetery


Milton cemetery - Milton Road, Milton PO4 8RS

  • The office that administers all three cemeteries is based here
  • Over 25 acres and holds approximately 200 burials per year
  • Opened 8 April 1912 - the same week the Titanic sank

You can purchase the exclusive rights on a grave for either 50 or 99 years. The grave owner must approve all matters relating to the grave such as who is buried and whether or not a memorial is permitted.


There are sections for cremated remains in Milton and Kingston cemeteries. Cremated remains can also be placed in existing family graves in all three cemeteries.


If a grave is not purchased - meaning no one has exclusive rights to it - no memorial can be placed.

When deciding upon an area within the cemetery please be advised that we offer both Consecrated and Unconsecrated ground. Consecrated means that the area is blessed in accordance with the rites of the Church of England.

Burials can take place on any weekday, except on bank holidays. Please talk to your funeral director or contact us to discuss any specific needs.

Portsmouth cemeteries have a lawn style layout which means the grave space around the memorial is kept turfed and mown. Kerbstones are no longer permitted.


For safe and easy access between graves and for improved standard of maintenance, only a lawn-style memorial can be placed on the grave and a total of three vases.  However, we do permit mini-kerbs or similar. Check with cemeteries office or local stonemasons for clarification of regulations.


Wooden or plastic fences and loose chippings are not permitted and the council reserves the right to remove such items if they impose in any way to a burial or other cemetery users.


There is no charge to the grave owner for the mowing and maintenance of a grave when it is clear and accessible.

Floral tributes are removed 17 days after the burial.  If you remove them please do not place them in the bins around the cemetery, place them by the side, so the bins can be used by others. If you wish to keep any tributes or frames please remove them before the 17th day.


Graves are levelled eight and sixteen weeks after the burial. It is important this work is done so the mound can be reduced gradually and minimise potential long-term sinkage problems. Please keep graves as clear as possible so we can access them to carry out this vital work.  Graves with excessive items will not be cleared.


The recommended time for erecting a memorial is twelve months. This allows the grave to settle and will help the long term stability of the memorial by reducing subsidence.

Graves are automatically returfed with grass some months after the burial. Turfing only takes place between November and March and is subject to favourable weather conditions. Exactly when the grave is turfed is dependent on which month the burial took place.


Some time in the future we may need to excavate the grave at the side or foot of the grave you attend. We may need to place boards over the grave and soil. After the funeral we clean the grave and leave the area as neat as possible.

Memorials are a lasting symbol of remembrance. They can take the form of a memorial on the grave or an entry in the Book of Remembrance.

Memorials can only be placed on graves upon which Rights of Ownership are held, such as purchased graves. If the deceased was the original holder of the rights they must be transferred to an appointed person before the memorial application can be approved.


Permits are required for all memorials and vases and are subject to the appropriate fee.


Memorials must be constructed of natural stone. Wooden crosses or memorials made of soft or artificial stone, plastic or any other material liable to perish or become unsightly will be subject to removal.

Books of Remembrance are displayed to the public in specially designed cabinets in the chapels at Milton and Kingston Cemeteries from 9 am to 4 pm every day of the year.


The page with the inscription will be open on the first anniversary of the date of death and on that same day each year thereafter.


From 2015 the books have been made accessible on the internet for all to view whether at home or abroad.


Applications for inscriptions must be submitted no later than three months after the burial to guarantee entry for the first anniversary as they are sent away to be updated by expert craftsmen. Service badges, floral emblems or organisational crests such as Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, British Legion and a vast array of things meaningful to the deceased may be incorporated in the inscription.


Please contact the cemetery office for further advice.

In order to maintain high standards on all the graves and cemeteries in general, we need the co-operation of everyone involved, especially grave owners.


All monuments, memorials, wreaths, plants and all other items placed in the cemetery are the responsibility of those that do so. The council does not accept responsibility for the repair or maintenance of such items that do not conform with the regulations, for instance, erected on approval and made of natural stone. 


To keep the cemetery safe for staff and visitors alike we reserve the right to remove any unsuitable material on or around a grave as well as any tree or shrub that is obstructing a grave, memorial or pathway. The council reserves the right to recover from the grave owner any costs involved in making safe.


Do not place any glass items on graves as when they freeze they break in to pieces and the shards are very hazardous.


Ensure you read the guidelines relating to memorials, their correct dimensions and what you are allowed. This guidance also forms the ongoing regulations in force.