It's only very recently (Since the 1950's, I think) that Cremation was re-legalised in Britain. The Romans outlawed it as part of their pogrom on the Druids. Come to think of it, it was only last year, or the year before that Druidism was officially recognised as a religion here. Which is funny in itself, because it was never actually a Religion in the first place. The Romans made it an offence, under pain of death for a Druid to set foot in Britain, because they used their extensive network to organise anti-Roman resistance among the Tribes.
Then, when the Christian Church got a foothold here, they held that you couldn't get Resurrected by God for Judgement unless your remains were interred, whole, in consecrated ground. Which kind of put the mockers on the traditional funeral pyre.