Burial and Cremation

Important cemetery information

Can I place a memorial on a grave?

The erection of a memorial will only be permitted where:

  • A Grant of Exclusive Rights of Burial exists for the grave
  • the grave owner must submit a fully completed formal memorial application signed by all grave owners. Where the owner is deceased a transfer of ownership must be completed before any memorial work is permitted
  • the written permission of the Burial Authority has been granted
  • payment of the prescribed fee as specified in the Table of Fees and Charges has been made to the Burial Authority

What kind of memorial can I have?

Having satisfied the criteria above, the following types of memorials may be placed in the following sections of the cemetery:

Lawn sections

Headstone, plaque, vase or book, may be placed at the head of the grave only. Maximum height from ground level 750mm (2 and a half foot) Please note: No kerb set or corner posts are allowed in this section.

Traditional sections

Headstone, plaque, kerb set, tablet and vase. Maximum height above ground level 750mm (2 and a half feet)

Ashes sections

Plaque, vase or book desk. Maximum height above ground level 600mm (2 feet). Headstones are permitted in certain areas within the cemetery in the form of slipper stones with a maximum height of 150mm (6 inches)

All memorials, including the re-fixing and refurbishment of memorials, must be:

  • constructed and erected in strict accordance with the size and design approved by the Burial Authority, by a stone mason who is an approved contractor and in strict accordance with the BRAMM Code of Working Practice and or BS 8145;2018
  • prepared ready for fixing before being taken into the cemetery
  • erected using an appropriate foundation which must be to the satisfaction of the Burial Authority
  • secured to the plinth using a fixing system that has been approved by the Burial Authority
  • fixed in line with adjacent memorials

Can I have a permanent wooden grave marker or cross?

Unfortunately, no. However small wooden crosses and grave markers can be and are sometimes provided by a funeral director, as a temporary grave marker, pending the erection of a permanent memorial.

These may remain for a period not exceeding twelve months from the date of interment. Should a permanent memorial be installed at any time within those 12 months, the temporary marker must be removed immediately. Should the temporary marker not be removed then the Bereavement Services Team will remove and dispose of it.

Bins are provided throughout the cemeteries. Please do not put soil in these. 

What happens if my memorial falls into disrepair?

It is the responsibility of the grave owner to maintain their memorial in a safe condition. The Burial Authority has a duty to periodically inspect and test memorials for stability and take actions considered appropriate in order to maintain public safety. These inspections will be advertised in the local press and on cemetery information boards in advance.

If a memorial is found to be in a dangerous condition, the Burial Authority has a responsibility to make the memorial safe by either securing it in the upright position or lowering it to the ground and then advising the registered grave owner where possible. It is then the responsibility of the registered grave owner to contact a stonemason and pay for the reinstatement work.

Are there any restrictions on the materials that can be used for memorials?

Your stonemason can advise you on the type of materials that may be used. All memorials must be able to bear continuous exposure to the weather and must not be made of:

  • glass
  • porcelain
  • plastic
  • polystyrene
  • terracotta
  • or any other material that the Burial Authority think is unsuitable.

Am I allowed to place what I like on the grave?

Unfortunately, no. The Cemetery has certain regulations which prohibit this from happening. Please find listed below examples of items that are not permitted:

  • planting of any trees, shrubs or garden areas
  • any glass, plastic or porcelain containers, grave furniture including any type of fencing / lighting, toys or wind chimes that can impede cemetery maintenance and or if broken, cause injury to staff or visitors
  • placing any item on the grass area of a lawn grave
  • placing of any unauthorised grave surrounds

Flowers and floral tributes

These should be placed on the plinth at the top of the grave. We would ask that flowers are removed from any plastic film wrapping and that this is placed in the appropriate bin.

Dead flowers should be removed from graves. The Council may remove dead flowers without notice.

We ask respectfully that all Christmas wreathes are removed by the last weekend of January. Signs will be placed within the Cemeteries to remind visitors of this. If you are visiting in January and laying fresh flowers, please take your Christmas wreath with you.

What maintenance can I expect around my memorial?

In the majority of cases, burials take place within ‘lawn sections’ which means that the grass will be maintained on a regular basis. Currently, and unlike some Councils, we do not use herbicide around memorials as we believe this can detract from the overall appearance of the cemetery.

However, due to the restrictions in space, this does mean that during the process of grass cutting, cuttings can be distributed or be blown onto memorials. Whilst we try to keep this to a minimum it is unfortunately an unavoidable consequence of maintenance, but one which we feel is still less intrusive than the alternative.  We cannot accept responsibility for damage caused to ornaments that should not be placed on the grave space. These items will be removed by the council

What can I expect when another burial takes place either close or adjacent to my memorial?

During the process of digging a grave, there will be an amount of earth displaced for a short period of time.

We take great care to ensure memorials adjacent to a new or re-opened grave and the ground around the area are protected and boards may be placed on the ground to protect the grass. Matting is also placed over the earth and against any closely positioned memorials to avoid damage. Any items associated with adjacent graves will be temporarily placed away from the current operation to protect them; these would normally be put to the rear of adjacent memorials and are treated and moved with due care and respect.

Once the burial has taken place, permitted items will be returned to their previous position. If a grave is visited during the short time that an adjacent grave is open, please be assured that the whole area is treated respectfully, disruption is kept to an absolute minimum and the area ‘left as it was found’ on completion of the current committal.

Contact Bereavement Services

Telephone: 01702 215015/603908

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