What we provide at Westmill

We have a range of simple facilities at Westmill. There is no charge for their use but we do need to be told if you want to make use of them on the day. 

The Roundhouse

Our roundhouse is an open sided eco-building available for funeral gatherings or to shelter in and enjoy the views or share a picnic.

It has a green sedum roof and can hold approximately 40 people seated, we can provide chairs on request. We can also provide trestles to place the coffin on.

We are happy for you to decorate the space as you wish. There are wooden pegs on which you can hang strings of photographs, flowers or other items.

The Roundhouse

The Bier / Coffin Cart

This traditional willow sided cart can be pulled easily by two or more family members or bearers with other family members walking alongside or following behind.  It means that it is much easier for families to take charge without worrying about carrying over long distances.   We often get requests to use even when we have funeral directors on site because it is so attractive.

The Bier Coffin Cart

Car Parking

There is parking for about 8 – 10 cars in a car park directly next to the burial ground and we have more room in the adjoining field if required (weather and cattle movements allowing).

There is parking directly on the burial ground itself for the hearse and any limousines or for those mourners who are less mobile.

If large numbers of cars are expected then there is plenty of space a few hundred metres over the road by the Westmill Wind farm. Signs will be placed showing people where they can park and our staff will be there on the day.

View of car park

Toilets

We have two very basic composting lavatories here which are situated at the bottom of the burial ground through a woven gate.  Please do take care as the slope can be slippery when wet.  There is an accessible toilet in the farmyard at Westmill Farm about 2 minutes drive away. A member of the team will be happy to give directions or assistance.

Compost toilets

The Memorial Circle

This is made up of individual slate tablets which can be either hand cut or machine cut.  They will eventually form a spiral and lead you in towards the large sarsen in the centre.  We hold our memorial gatherings in this circle every year and remember those who have died.

The Memorial Circle

The Communal Memorial Stone

We placed this here in 2014.  It was made by Alec Peever. The words are by Liz Rothschild.  The idea is this stone is for everyone buried or interred at Westmill. Not everyone wants an individual memorial tablet and this speaks for us all.  We hope you like it.

The Memorial Stone

The Willow Bower

Like all our trees this was planted by our Family and Friends Group and now has a thriving pair of honeysuckles growing up either side. The log bench is from Coleshill woods and the willow is now thick enough to protect you from rain showers.  It has been used to hold a coffin during a funeral.  It has been sat on for a picnic or just to soak up the view and the birdsong.

The Willow Bower

Memorial Tablets

We keep Westmill intentionally as a natural landscape of wild beauty and for this reason we do not allow memorials to be placed on individual plots. We do however offer our families the opportunity to purchase a memorial tablet to be laid in a central spiral around our large sarsen stone. This stone acts as a focal point for many of our gatherings but it has also become an important place for family and friends to gather when they visit.

All of the tablets are a standard size made from a green grey Cumbrian slate.  We use this rather than local stone because it is the most suitable for carving and weathering horizontally.  Hand or machine cut lettering is available and we help you to liaise directly with the stone cutters to get something very beautiful and unique.

We try to ensure that each tablet is as affordable as possible. There is an initial amount payable to Westmill with your order which is currently £100 and which covers the cost of the blank tablet and all admin and laying costs. There will then be an additional charge direct to the mason or stone cutter to cover the cost of the inscription. These charges are usually per letter and range from £2 for machine cut to £9 for hand carved.   

Memorial tablets

Wildflowers and trees

At Westmill we are always keeping our eye on the long term goal of creating a piece of native woodland and meadow in harmony with surrounding landscape. We offer a Friends and Family Day each November where those who are connected with the burial ground can come together for a working day to help plant trees and bulbs. Whilst donations for trees are always appreciated we tend to plant stock from our tree nursery into locations where the tree will thrive and not have their roots disturbed. We are unable to offer to plant trees on individual graves as this would mean trees were planted too close together and some would have to be removed in time.

In spring time we can order a selection of native wild flowers on your request, either to go on a specific plot or to go in the communal spaces, as you wish. If you are unable to come to the burial ground to plant the flowers yourself we can arrange, for a small fee, for our grounds person to plant on your behalf. Alternatively you can have the plants delivered to your home address so that you can come in at a time convenient to you and your family to put them in yourselves.

If you can’t come to the burial ground or do not wish to attend our Friends and Family Day then don’t worry because nature is doing a grand job of seeding and growing on your behalf. In recent years we have had glorious displays of cowslips and ox eye daisies self seeding across the site and other wild flowers are increasing each year including even a Bee Orchid which regularly makes an appearance.

Pink Campion at Westmill

"I was very touched at the amount of trouble that you all took to make it such a memorable and touching ceremony so that we could think of our loved ones with dignity.  The whole thing was really quite beautiful.  I can’t thank you enough for all the work that you have put in and continue to do.”