photo of Willesborough CemeteryThe borough's cemeteries are very important open spaces.

Cemeteries are an important link to the borough's past, are part of our green corridor, and are a place for people to wander and for quiet contemplation.

We ask that if you take your dog into our cemeteries you keep them under control, on a lead and ensure you clean up after them. Over the past few years we have invested a great deal of money in the cemeteries to ensure they are a pleasant area for people to visit. The work we have undertaken includes:

  • Repairing the traditional stone walls in the Canterbury Road Cemetery
  • Renewing all of the roadways in the Canterbury Road Cemetery
  • Ensuring all the head and kerb stones in Bybrook cemetery, Willesborough cemetery and Canterbury Road cemetery are erect and in a safe condition (many other council's are just laying them down)
  • Constructing a new road in Willesborough Cemetery for future growth

To contact the Cemeteries Officer please call 01233 330472 or please email us


Working cemeteries

We have four working cemeteries:

Opening hours

Our cemeteries are open to visitors every day including weekends and all public holidays including Christmas and Boxing Day.

Monday to Saturday: 07:30 hrs – 21:00 hrs or sunset, whichever is the earliest
Sunday and Public Holidays: 08:00 hrs – 21:00 hrs or sunset, whichever is the earliest

Outside of these hours, the cemeteries are closed and secured.

Closed cemeteries

In addition we also maintain nine closed cemeteries

  • Grave Yard, Station Road, Tenterden
  • St Mary's Church, Ashford Town Centre
  • St Mary's Church, Kennington
  • St Mary's Church, Stone
  • St Mary's Church, Willesborough
  • St Mildred's Church, Tenterden
  • St Michael and All Angels Church, St Michaels, Tenterden
  • St Peter and Paul Church, Appledore
  • St Peter's Church, Newenden
  • St. Peter's Molash
  • St. Mary's High Halden

See fees and regulations for guidance on burials in all of our cemeteries.


Ashford Borough Council does not have any crematoria. The nearest crematorium is in Charing, the telephone number is 01233 712443. Alternatively, you can visit the Charing Crematorium website.

If you or your loved ones wish to be cremated, your undertaker would normally deal with this for you. We do not provide undertaker or funeral director services but you can find these on the Yellow Pages website.

Woodland Burials

Woodland burials offer a natural alternative form of burial. They are for people who care about the environment and are happy for their resting place to be part of a developing woodland. The woodland itself is managed by Ashford Borough Council for the benefit of wildlife and to provide a natural and tranquil place to visit and enjoy.

Both Bybrook Cemetery and Cranbrook Road Cemetery offer Woodland Burials.

See our fees and regulations for more information.

How your burial will help the woodland

Woodland is much more than trees. A thriving woodland has open glades and is a home for many different wild flowers, birds and other animals. Part of the fee you pay goes towards adding these important features to the woodland.

Coffins and caskets

To make sure that the burials are as natural as possible biodegradable cardboard coffins are used. Your undertaker or the councils cemeteries officer can advise you on the different types of coffin available.

Religious beliefs and faiths

The woodland burials are for people of all faiths, beliefs and cultures and there are no areas set aside for particular groups. You can arrange a graveside ceremony at the time of burial if you wish.


On the grave itself memorials are limited to a simple post and plaque which is provided by the council. In order to preserve a natural woodland character no other memorials are permitted on the graves.

Suggested perennial native plant list for woodland grave planting

Open grass area
 Common name Latin name
Primrose Primula vulgaris
Cowslip Primula veris
Rough Hawkbit Leontodon hispidus
Meadow Buttercup Ranunculus acris
Cats Ear Hypochaeris radicata
Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis
Meadow Cranesbill Geranium pratense
Star of Bethlehem Ornithogalum umbellatum


Common name Latin name
Snowdrop Galanthus nivalis
Bluebell   Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Daffodil  Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Winter Aconite Eranthis hymenalis


Shade tolerant plants
Common name Latin name
Shade tolerant plants Woodruff Galium odoratum
Lily of the valley Convallaria majalis
Solomon’s Seal Polygonatum multiflorum
Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa
Moschatel  Adoxa moschatellina
Periwinkle   Vinca major


Ferns (dry tolerant)
Common name Latin name
Hart’s Tongue Fern Asplenium scolopendrium
Male Fern   Dryopteris filix-mas


Woodland orchids (challenging)
Common name Latin name
Early purple Orchis mascula
Twayblade Listera ovata
Helleborine   Epipactis spp
Fly Ophrys insectifera

Grave searches

Unfortunately Ashford Borough Council's list of burials is not yet available to the public online.

The council keeps records of any burials that have taken place in any one of the four council-owned cemeteries

Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with searches for any other cemetery in the borough.

Please note that searches are very time-consuming for our staff and will be carried out at our earliest opportunity. If the search is successful we may be able to provide a map of the cemetery and a location map of the grave. We are not a public records office so you will not be able to do the search yourself. Please complete the grave search application form, which will enable us to help you.

Alternatively, you may find the National Archives and Deceased Online websites useful.