Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Mortonhall Crematorium virtual tour aims to 'demystify' funerals

Mortonhall Crematorium Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council

The first virtual tour of a crematorium in the UK has been launched in a bid to demystify the process.

Edinburgh's Grade A-listed Mortonhall Crematorium has opened up its doors to the world with a virtual tour of the facility.

It was designed by renowned architect Sir Basil Spence and opened in 1967.

Council officials said talking about death is still taboo for many people. The tour includes the area where cremations take place.

It also shows the welcoming reception area and family room along with the two chapels where services are held.

Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council

Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's environment convener, said: "I know from first hand experience how daunting an experience it is for bereaved families making funeral arrangements.

"This pioneering new feature at Mortonhall Crematorium has been welcomed by city funeral directors as a way of 'demystifying' the process and I'm sure families will find it very helpful to take the virtual tour when they're planning their loved one's final send-off."

Robert Swanson, Scottish government inspector of cremations, said: "'This innovative production provides an excellent unrestricted insight into public and private areas of Mortonhall Crematorium.

"I consider it will be of particular benefit to bereaved families who have never before been to the crematorium, by knowing in advance what to expect.

"I welcome all such measures taken by cremation authorities which are designed to help reduce the level of stress and apprehension of the bereaved during their attendance at the crematorium."

Gail Rickets, owner of Captured Realities which produced the tour said it had been a pleasure to work with crematorium staff and capture images of the listed buildings.

"This ensures the chapels are now accessible for a global audience to explore and admire, as well as providing local users with a visual representation of the facilities available at the crematorium," she said.

Prof Hilary J Grainger, professor of architectural history at University of the Arts London said Mortonhall Crematorium was "one of the finest crematorium designs in Europe".

"This excellent resource, showing the newly refurbished facilities, will be of great interest to a wide audience, but particularly those planning a funeral who wish to familiarise themselves with the building," he added.

The council has also commissioned virtual tours of Mortonhall and Craigmillar Castle Park Cemeteries, which are currently in development.

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