Memorial safety and regulations

There are certain safety information and regulations which apply to different memorial sections in the cemetery. It is the responsibility of the grave owner to maintain their memorial.

Safety information

We will remove memorials which are dangerous, or may move them if access is needed to reopen a grave. It is always advisable to insure a memorial against accidental damage and vandalism. Your chosen mason will be able to provide you with details.

If a grave is tended and we have contact details, a letter is sent to registered owners to let them know that their memorial requires attention.

Keep us updated

Being able to contact grave owners and family members is often difficult, as many have died or moved address and not informed the cemetery office. Please ensure that you advise us if you own a memorial in one of the borough cemeteries and have moved from the address on our records. The memorial safety programme is attempting to deal with this very sensitive issue in a reasonable and effective way, whilst ensuring that the cemeteries are safe places to visit.

Preservation and restoration

To preserve the history of the cemeteries and the local area, the Cemetery Team works with local history groups and friends groups in restoring memorials, where possible.

The cost to re-erect or mend old memorials to ensure they are safe is considerable, so we prioritise the works required. We manage memorial safety inspections regularly.

Regulations

Lawn sections

The dimensions of a headstone on a lawn section, which cannot be exceeded, are 3 feet in height (including the base) 2 feet in width and 1 feet deep (914mm x 610mm x 305mm). All headstones must be on a suitable bearer and be fixed with the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Ground Anchor System.

On the very new lawn sections in Richmond Cemetery, a concrete beam has been placed which we hope will ensure the stability of the memorials erected there.

Traditional sections

The dimensions of a full memorial on a traditional section, which cannot be exceeded, are 5 feet in height, 2 feet 6 inches in width and 6 feet 6 inches in length (1524mm x 762mm x 1980mm).

All foundations and fixing methods are to be those currently recommended by National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM). Solid landings are preferred and only in special circumstances will frame landings be permitted. If a frame landing is used, it should be remembered that problems might be experienced from self-sown tree seedlings. It may also cause problems if the memorial should need to be moved in the future for further burials.

Grave owners do not have to have a full memorial on a traditional section. The owner may prefer to have a headstone only and plant the grave space, or have the grave turfed over.

Children's sections

The dimensions of a full memorial on the children's section, which cannot be exceeded, is 2 feet in height, 18 inches in width and 3 feet in length.(610mm x 457mm x 914mm)

Grave owners do not have to have a full memorial on the children's section. The owner may prefer to have a headstone only and plant the grave space, or have the grave turfed over.

Columbarium unit, Hampton Cemetery

Columbarium units are self-contained. The larger tablet covers the concrete lid, with the bolts securing it. The smaller tablet sits between the bolts on the concrete lid. Both lids are made of Red Balmoral Granite with polished edges.

The Cemeteries Office can advise you of a stonemason who can provide these memorials, as they are of a specific size and type. The burial cannot take place until the memorial lid is ready.

Garden of Rest, Richmond Cemetery

There are two options for memorials in this Garden of Rest. One is a rubbed Westmoreland Slate tablet with the dimensions of 10 inches width by 7inches length (254mm x 178mm).

This memorial is placed centrally on each grave space. The top of the tablet should be flush with ground level.

The alternative memorial is a black granite sloping wedge, which has gold lettering and is purchased through the Cemeteries Office.

Family cremated remains plots

The dimensions of a full memorial on these sections, which cannot be exceeded, are 18 inches in height, 2 feet in width and length (457mm x 610mm x 610mm). Grave owners do not have to have a full memorial on this section, and may prefer to plant the 2 feet (610mm) square area.

NAMM codes of ethics and practice

Members of the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) are bound by strict codes of ethics and practice, which are the standards of work we expect. If a dispute should arise, then they are also bound by the findings of a free and objective Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

All memorials must be fixed in the cemetery to the standard set by the NAMM Code of Ethics and Practice. This includes all foundations and fixings. A copy of the code is available for inspection at the cemetery office. If a memorial mason by his actions causes any disruption to a funeral, or does not work in an appropriate manner, they will be reported to NAMM and we may stop them from working in our cemeteries.

For more information please contact www.namm.org.uk.

Updated: 1 July 2014