Peter Bishop


Peter Bishop, Proprietor of Mitre Coffins

A local businessman, Peter Bishop, has recently branched out into a new venture which has loads of green credentials. Peter, a furniture maker and restorer who's been working with wood for nearly 50 years, has started to make and supply coffins from wood that would otherwise be wasted.

"Our coffins", Peter says, "are specifically aimed at offering a bespoke alternative to willow and other options such as wool". The coffins are approved for use at Humber Woodland of Remembrance, the first green burial ground in Herefordshire just north of Leominster.

The concept came to fruition after a discussion with funeral director Bill Rowlatt, proprietor of Oak Tree Funeral Services in Eardisley. An original idea for using old pallets was scuppered by the short lengths of wood that could be salvaged. After a trip to another local business, Whitney Sawmills, Peter sourced some timber that was not good enough for furniture or joinery. The first batch of coffins were made from Alder, an indigenous tree that grows profusely in Herefordshire and surrounding counties. Peter explained that "The beauty of this timber, and the other local woods we use, is that they all come from 'just up the road' thus avoiding adding road or air miles to the raw materials used in our coffins".

Each of the coffins is hand made using traditional methods. Simple glues and old fashioned nails are used wherever possible. The handles are made from short lengths of sisal rope, another environmentally friendly product. Although the coffins can be stained and polished Peter encourages his clients to use them with a natural finish. "I'd like to avoid adding anything extra so that the grain of the wood shows through and they are as simple as possible".

The new venture has been in production about a year and is called Mitre Coffins. If you'd like to know more about how they are made and their availability  then please call Peter on 01544 327540. Alternatively contact Oak Tree Funeral Services in Eardisley on 01544 327829.