About Us

Fakenham in the mist by Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk

Gowards Funeral Services are a family owned and run business and are the only independent funeral service in Fakenham, Norfolk. 


As a family run business Gowards are able to offer a more personal service dedicating our time to the needs of the bereaved and their loved ones.  We have served the area of Norfolk and generations of the same families for nearly 55 years.


We pride ourselves in our commitment to care and understanding with what we believe is a warm and approachable manner, qualities that we feel are invaluable at such a time.


We also consider it a privilege, not only to be entrusted with the care of your loved one, but to be invited into the midst of your family at such a sensitive time knowing that our reputation, commitment and professionalism will help you through.

Our Heritage


It all began back in 1939 when, at the age of 14, Claude Goward joined the late Bertie Colman as an apprentice.  It was here that Claude learnt the craft of coffin making and so embarked on his vocation as an undertaker.  In the years that followed Claude started his own funeral service and in October 1966 moved the business to its current location in Bridge Street, Fakenham, Norfolk.


Nothing was to much trouble and he would often be found working late into the night making a solid wood coffin, a craft he carried on throughout the years.  In 2003 Claude took a step back and the role of Funeral Director was taken over by Heather, who has inherited her fathers work ethic.


21st April 2015 not only marked the end of an era with the sad passing of Claude but the beginning of a new one . . .  

Horse Drawn Hearse by Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Horse Drawn Hearse  by Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Our Future


Gowards remains an independent family owned and run business and is the only independent funeral service in the town of Fakenham, Norfolk. 


The day-to-day running and management is carried out by Heather Goward with the assistance of Paul Cook and a very supportive staff. 

Paul joined the team in June 2016. A qualified funeral director with over 37 years experience brings another dimension to the many services that we are pleased to provide to our families and wider community.


We are very optimistic for what the future holds for us as an independent family run funeral service.  We have undergone a major refurbishment over the last few years, ensuring we have a modern and welcoming funeral home but rest assured we intend to remain independent and will not only maintain but improve our levels of personal, dedicated service that our families in the past have come to know and families in the future can expect.

Our Facilities


The premises, under Heathers guidance and instruction, have in recent years undergone major investment and development.  We are able to offer a reception area for those that like to pop in to have a chat, an office for more private discussions and Chapels of Rest with private seating area for those that wish to spend time with their loved one.


Visiting your loved one can be arranged for anytime, all we ask is that this is arranged by appointment so that we may ensure you can spend as much time as you wish. 

Chapel of Rest at Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Paul Cook by Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
 Rest at Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
On December 19th 2019 we said a fond farewell to Marina, many will remember Marina as being that first voice they encountered on the telephone.  Her service was held at Cromer Crematorium and after having 6 black horses for Claude it was only fitting that Marina had something equally as splendid and dignified for her last journey - we chose a 1958 Rolls Royce.


We are always pleased to offer alternative transport for your loved ones final journey.  Please don't hesitate to contact us to discuss any particular requirements or wishes. 

1958 Rolls Royce by Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Marina at Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Marina at Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk
Marina at Gowards, Fakenham, Norfolk