Warriston Crematorium

Ashes at Warriston Crematorium


Ashes may be dispersed within the grounds of the Crematorium by our staff. Please note that it will not be possible for you to be present at the dispersal nor for the exact location of the dispersal to be disclosed. It is important that you consider carefully before choosing this option. If you are certain that you wish the ashes to be dispersed, then the dispersal will usually take place on the next working day after the cremation.


Ashes may be collected from the Crematorium by the funeral director. They will be placed in either a plastic urn or a wooden casket. (Please note that there is an additional charge for a wooden casket.) Ashes may also be posted out to the funeral director.


Ashes may be placed in a niche in one of the Crematorium's columbaria, or in a Sanctum 2000 above-ground vault. The niches are made available on a twenty-five year lease; the vaults are on a ten-year lease.


If you do not feel ready to make a decision, we will be happy to retain the ashes. We regret that due to restrictions of space we can only store the ashes without charge for up to a month. However, under no circumstances will ashes be dispersed without written authority.

Baby Ashes

We consider the interests of the bereaved family and the baby or infant left in our care to be the central focus of our attention. This will be reflected in all of our administrative and operational practices and procedures.

Definition of ‘ashes’

Whilst we might use the terms ‘ashes’ and ‘cremated remains’ we deem these to be one and the same and defined as ‘all that is left in the cremator at the end of the cremation process and following the removal of any metal’. Theoretically there might be a small number of cases where there are no ashes remaining at the end of the cremation process, however during the last twenty years, we have never failed to recover ashes. If we ever were to fail to recover ashes we would contact the Applicant for Cremation and advise them of this.

Maximising the recovery of ashes during cremation

Our approach to the cremation of babies and infants is designed to maximise the recovery of ashes. This includes the use of a cremation tray designed to retain ashes where practicable, and the maintenance of operational conditions that will maximise the recovery of any ashes during the process of cremation. Our staff are vigilant during the cremation process and adjust operational conditions when necessary in order to protect the ashes of babies and infants and maximise their recovery. In any rare instance of non-recovery of ashes, we will notify the Inspector of Crematoria within 48 hours and conduct a review of the cremation process to understand why this is the case. The results of this review will be documented and will be available to next of kin and to the Inspector of Crematoria. We will adhere to our identification procedure that guarantees that the ashes resulting from individual cremations returned to parents are those of their babies.

Shared cremations

We do not carry out shared cremations unless it involves related individuals e.g. twins.

Disposal of Ashes

In relation to the disposal of ashes, we will only act upon the written instruction of the parent who is acting as the Applicant for Cremation or other person nominated in writing by the parent. Ashes will usually be dispersed a week after the cremation, or held at the crematorium for up to 6 weeks to await collection by representatives or instructions as to their disposal. Where no further instructions have been received within the 6 week period, a further 14 days' notice will be given in writing to the Applicant. If no reply is received to the written notice, then the ashes will be scattered within the grounds of the crematorium.


All cremations of babies and infants will be registered at the crematorium, with all information contained in forms and certificates being retained indefinitely. If ashes are scattered within the grounds of the crematorium the final resting place will be registered. Where ashes are to be collected, the details of any person authorised by the applicant to remove/collect the ashes will also be registered. The policy of this Cremation Authority is designed to provide an audit trail from the receipt of initial funeral instructions to the final disposal of ashes, either by collection from the crematorium or by scattering within a designated area.


If you have any questions or would like to contact us:

Telephone: 0131 552 3020,
Email: warriston@edinburghcrematorium.com