Dunfermline Crematorium

We aim to provide a quality service and to reinforce this we operate an ‘Open Door’ policy which means that you can make an appointment to be shown around the crematorium to see how things work. Every coffin that is received at the crematorium is brought through the front door, and following the Service is cremated individually as it was received. No items are removed from the coffin, with the exception of any floral tributes, which will be taken and laid out for you to see in a designated area.
We must comply with legislation relating to emissions from the chimney, so this means that we have guidelines in place on what materials can be used to make and dress a coffin, and also what sort of clothing are suitable to use to dress the deceased (i.e. natural fibres such as cottons or wool are acceptable). It is also extremely important that additional items such as glass, books, steel toe capped boots, mementoes etc, are not placed in the coffin for cremation. These items not only cause high emissions, but as in the case of glass, can also cause severe damage to the equipment.

Booking a Cremation

Service Options

There are various options open to you regarding the style and content of Service you may wish to consider:

Types of Service

Options include religious or non-religious, giving the option of either using a minister/priest or a representative from other organisations such as the Salvation Army or Humanist Association. Alternatively a member of the family may wish to lead the service or you may wish no officiant at all.


There are extremely proficient organists available to play for each Service that takes place. They have a wide range of music that can be played. If they don’t have a particular piece of music that has been requested, but it can be provided in sufficient time prior to the Service, they will try their best to accommodate any special requests.

In addition, we also have high quality compact disc systems that can be used. We advise that where a music CD is to be played, that it is with crematorium staff at least 24 hours prior to the Service to allow us to check that the CD will operate properly. We no longer have facilities to play tapes, feeling that they do not provide the same quality of sound available from CD’s. However, if your preference is to use a tape, you are welcome to do so, but will be responsible for the provision of a suitable tape recorder.

Format of Service

A time of 20 minutes is allocated for each Service. The remaining time between Service times is to allow some time for mourners to pay their respects to the family of the bereaved in the exit room if requested. It also allows time for the Chapel Attendants to remove floral tributes to a viewing area outside and to prepare the chapel for the next Service.

During the Service, the content of the Service will be dependent on what has been agreed between those arranging the funeral and those leading the Service. Where special requests are made, we will try out best to accommodate them, but please allow plenty of notice. Additional Service times can be booked if required and if you anticipate the Service lasting longer than 20-25 minutes; this should be considered to avoid impacting on those bereaved families whose Services will follow.

There is a point during the Service where the committal will take place. At this point, it is normal for the curtains at the area where the coffin is laid to close. Some people find this comforting; others however can find it distressing. If it is your wish that the curtains remain open until the service is finished and the mourners have left the chapel, please let us know.

Collections can be arranged to take place at the end of the Service. Some families prefer to take a collection in lieu of flowers for a charity or cause of their choice, your Funeral Director can advise you on this option.

Floral Tributes

It is preferred for only three main tributes to be brought into the Chapel for the Service for handling and timing. However, if you would like additional tributes this can be discussed. Following the Service, the floral tributes will be removed from the Chapel and laid out in the designated area for viewing.

The length of time tributes will remain on the viewing area is dependent on their condition which is affected by weather conditions but they will normally be on view for four to seven days, before being lifted and disposed of. If you wish to keep the cards from the tributes, it is advisable to arrange for their uplift within the initial four day period.

Alternatively, you may wish for the tributes to be taken from the crematorium to be placed in another place of your choice, i.e. at a family grave, in a hospital ward or nursing home. Please advise the staff at the Crematorium if this is required and arrange for the tributes to be collected within the initial four day period.

Wreathes and tributes placed in commemoration at Christmas time will be lifted at the end of January. Please ensure that any tributes that you wish to keep are lifted prior to this date. 

Baby and Infant Cremation

Policy Statement Relating to the Cremation of Babies and Infants:
This Cremation Authority wishes it to be known that it considers 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 our employees 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’.
There might be a small number of cases where there are no ashes remaining at the end of the cremation process. If this is the case our staff will contact the Applicant for Cremation and advise them of this.
Maximising the recovery of ashes during cremation
We have developed an approach to the cremation of babies and infants that 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 minimise the loss of any ashes during the process of cremation.
Our staff will be 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
Where a shared cremation has been authorised, and hence ashes are not individually identifiable, we will take the same care throughout the cremation process, including steps to maximise the recovery of ashes, and will scatter the ashes within the crematorium’s designated area. The location will be recorded for future reference.
Disposal of Ashes
In relation to the disposal of ashes in the case of a private cremation, this Cremation Authority 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.
In the case of shared cremations we will only act on the written instruction of the designated person at the relevant hospital, who is acting as the Applicant.. Ashes will be 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 six week period, a further fourteen days’ notice will be given in writing to the Applicant, following which the ashes will be scattered or interred within the grounds of the crematorium should no further instructions have been received.
All cremations of babies and infants will be registered at the crematorium, with all information as contained in forms and certificates being retained indefinitely.
The final resting place of ashes scattered within the grounds of the crematorium will be registered. Where ashes are to be collected, the details of any person authorised by the applicant to remove/collect the ashes will 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 or burial within the confines of the Gardens of Remembrance or other such designated area.
There are also three special Baby areas in Fife being in Dunfermline Cemetery, Hayfield Cemetery in Kirkcaldy and Cupar Cemetery. These areas will receive interments of babies but graves cannot be marked with a headstone. There are large headstones for the whole area on which the baby’s name can be inscribed along with the date of death.
The inscriptions can be organised through the office of the Fife Branch of the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (Sands) by contacting them at Fife Sands, PO Box 29210, Dunfermline, KY12 2BS or by telephoning 0845 5280322.
Questions or Queries
If you have any questions or queries about the cremation of your baby, you can speak to any staff at the crematoriums on the details below.
Kirkcaldy Crematorium
Tel: 01592 583524 Contact Kirkcaldy Crematorium online
By Post: Kirkcaldy Crematorium Rosemount Avenue Kirkcaldy Fife KY2 6HQ
Dunfermline Crematorium
Tel: 01383 602335 Contact Dunfermline Crematorium online
By Post: Dunfermline Crematorium Masterton Road Dunfermline Fife KY11 8QR

Commemorative Options

Book of Remembrance

These are displayed in specially provided rooms at both Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy Crematorium.
A page of memory for each day of the year is displayed on the appropriate date.
The inscription is added by an expert craftsman. It is a permanent record in the hand bound books which are encased in purpose built cabinets.
The Books cover each quarter of the year:
  • January to March;
  • April to June;
  • July to September; and
  • October to December.
They are sent away each year, three months prior to going on display, for any new subscriptions to be added.
Outwith that period, appointments can be made to specifically view a date.
Memorial Cards and Booklets:
These are suitable as a personal family record and for sending to distant friends and relatives, being essentially a miniature version of an inscription which would be entered into the Book of Remembrance.
Memorial: Garden of Remembrance
We offer a few options for memorials in the Gardens of Remembrance:
  • Dunfermline Crematorium offer wall plaques, boulder plaques and planter plaques.  These are available on a 10 year lease, (5 year lease also available for planter plaques). For more details and prices please contact us.
  • Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline Crematoria offer kerbs and wall plaques.  These are available on a 10 year lease. For more details and prices please contact us.
Please note: all plaques (with the exception of the Baby Garden) are on a 10 year lease basis.  The Baby Garden plaques are not bound by a lease.

Dispersal of Ashes

Cremated Remains

When the Application for Cremation is being completed, you will be asked what your preferred option is for the cremated remains. There are various options open to you. Where dispersal in the Gardens of Remembrance has been chosen, the Crematorium will hold the cremated remains for seven days before dispersal, allowing a period of time in case a family changes their mind over the final resting place of the remains. Other options include:

Dispersal with family members present

Once it is finally agreed that dispersal in the Gardens of Remembrance is the chosen option, this can be arranged either through your Funeral Director or the Crematorium to take place with family members present. Only authorised persons can carry out dispersals.

Dispersal in chosen place

There are four areas used within the Gardens of Remembrance at various times throughout the year. You can specify however, if you wish cremated remains to be dispersed in a particular section. It is also possible for remains to be held back is a commemorative memorial is to be purchased to allow the dispersal to take place near the memorial once it is in place.

Taken away

Alternatively, you may wish to collect the cremated remains from the Crematorium. This could be to bury them in a cemetery of your choice (permission and an application is required for this) or to disperse them in a particular area. Again, depending on where you intend to disperse the remains, it may be advisable to seek permission from the landowner.

Only the person who applied and completed the Application for Cremation or your Funeral Director can remove any remains to be taken from the Crematorium, which must be signed for. You will receive a ‘Certificate of Cremation’ which must be retained as you will need to give this to the person in charge of any cemetery where you intend to have the cremated remains buried.

Cremated remains to be taken away will be supplied in a biodegradable cardboard box. Other options may be available through your Funeral Director. Any cremated remains that the Crematorium is asked to keep indefinitely, in particular after a period of one month, can be dispersed in the Garden of Remembrance, following two weeks prior notification to the Applicant for Cremation.



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