Skip to content

The Cremation

Committal (the funeral service)

After the committal, the coffin is withdrawn into the cremation room where the nameplate is carefully checked by crematorium staff to ensure the correct identity of the deceased (this also happens before the service). An identity card will then accompany the coffin and the resultant remains until their final disposal or removal from the crematorium.

  • Families can witness the coffin arriving in the cremation room and being transferred into a cremator, if they wish. Please arrange this with our crematorium manager.
  • We advise families to let your funeral director know about your wish for this as early as possible when making the funeral arrangements.

Carrying out the cremation

Each cremation is carried out separately but exceptions might be made, for instance, in the case of mother and baby or twin children providing that the next of kin has made a specific request for this.

If you are arranging a funeral and need to notify the crematorium about a cremation, please download, read and complete the following form, then return it to:

Bereavement Services Manager
Cambridge City Crematorium
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JJ


Coffins are placed in the cremator in exactly the same condition they are received at the crematorium. A cremator can accept only one coffin at a time and all remains are removed before it can be used again.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 has placed a responsibility on cremation authorities to ensure that the process is completed under controlled conditions, which will minimise the impact on the environment.

Items left with a body for cremation

The Environment Protection Act 1990 makes it necessary for any items included in the coffin for presentation or viewing purposes, including floral tributes, to be removed by the funeral director before the coffin is taken to the crematorium.

We advise that all items of jewellery be removed from the body before the coffin is taken to the crematorium. The funeral director should discuss this with you when making your funeral arrangements. It will not be possible to recover any items of jewellery after the coffin has been received at the crematorium.

An identity card accompanies the coffin and cremated remains throughout the process until final disposal.

Cremated remains (ashes)

At the end of a cremation the cremated remains are removed in their entirety and taken to a treatment area in a special container.

Ferrous metals used in the making of the coffin or metal used in medical implants are taken out and kept for separate disposal. Non-ferrous metals, which may include an unrecognisable element of precious material, will not be salvaged for any purpose and will be disposed of.

The cremation of an adult will normally result in cremated remains weighing between two and four kilograms. In the case of a body of an infant it may not be possible to guarantee that any remains will be collectable. This is due to the cartilaginous nature of the bone structure.

After cremation

Cremated remains may be collected from the crematorium by family members or the funeral director.

Remains can also be placed (interred) in a memorial vault, or scattered (strewn) within the grounds either in a place specifically chosen by the family or our woodlands.

  • Families can be present when the remains are interred or strewn, although appointments must be made in advance.
  • Cremated remains can be held at the crematorium for a limited period, although a charge may be made for this.

When cremated remains are strewn, they are distributed over a wide area of ground. Chemical reactions resulting from exposure to the elements quickly break down the remains, already in granular form, so that within a few days little trace can be seen.