Cemetery memorials

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Type, size and placement of memorials
  3. Memorial safety
  4. Which stonemasons should be used
  5. Doing the work yourself

Overview

If you are planning to place a memorial on a grave, there are a number of things that you need to know.

We recommended that you wait for at least one year after a burial before installing a memorial on a grave to allow for natural land settlement.

You need permission from the Council before installing any type of memorial on a grave.

A memorial installed on a grave without permission may be removed by us without giving notice beforehand.

Your memorial and its continued maintenance is your responsibility. We strongly recommended that you insure it against theft, or damage due to:

  • severe weather conditions
  • vandalism
  • natural land settlement
  • accidental damage

Memorials may have to be removed to allow burials and this will incur additional costs to those funerals.

This is particularly the case with kerb surrounds, so it may be advisable to wait until all of the burials in the grave have occurred before installing them.

Memorials can be unstable and it is recommended that at all times you and your family members, particularly children, should avoid coming into contact with other memorials while in the cemetery.


Type, size and placement of memorials

There are restrictions on the type, size and placement of memorials.

Memorials must be made from a material approved by Bereavement Services.

The following materials are not permitted:

  • wire
  • glass 
  • wood (except for wooden crosses)
  • plastics

Chippings must be confined within a border.

This is in line with the Council's commitment to protecting the natural environment, maintaining the historic landscape of the cemeteries, and reducing the use of plastics.

Any memorial placed on a grave breaching these rules may be removed by Bereavement Services at any time without notice.

Lawned sections

Some graves in certain sections in the cemeteries have restrictions around the placement of memorials, planting and mementoes. These are classed as 'lawned sections'.

Restrictions in lawned sections

Cemetery

Section(s)

Headstone 

Kerbs and surrounds 

Any other item including flowers, planting and mementoes etc

Harton

Five, ten, eleven, V

 

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Harton

Moslem 16

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 18 inches

 

No kerbs permitted

 

Max length: 18 inches

Max width: 3ft 11" inches

 

Jarrow

Fifteen, seventeen and J (graves 1 - 36a)

 

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Hebburn

Q and S (graves 1-62)

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Whitburn

C and D

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Boldon

E

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 4 foot 6 inches

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

Max length: 4 foot 6 inches

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

 

Boldon

F

Max height: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

Max length: 3 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

All measurements of length must be taken from the back line (head) of the grave.

The remainder of the grave must be left as open lawn:

types of memorials

Any memorial placed on any grave in contravention of these regulations may be removed by Bereavement Services at any time without prior notice.

All other sections

The placement of memorials, planting and mementoes on all other sections in the cemeteries are subject to the following maximum dimensions:

Restrictions in other sections

Headstone

Kerbs and surrounds

Any other item including flowers, planting and mementoes etc

No height restriction

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches  

 

Max length: 8 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

Max length: 8 foot

Max width: 3 foot 11 inches

 

All measurements of length must be taken from the back line (head) of the grave.

Any memorial placed on a grave breaching these rules may be removed by Bereavement Services at any time without notice.

Any unpurchased (public) grave is restricted to only a memorial stone (not in excess of 12" x 12") or a wooden cross.


Memorial safety

The Council will inspect the safety of memorials from time to time.

If a memorial is found to be unsafe, Bereavement Services has a statutory obligation to remove the risk to all cemetery users.


Which stonemasons should be used

Only stonemasons who are registered with The National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) or The British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM) are permitted to work in our cemeteries.

This means that they will work in strict accordance with:

  • British Standard 8415 (2018) - the professional standard for stonemasonry 
  • The BRAMM Blue Book or the NAMM Code of Working Practice 
  • The Council's Cemetery Rules and Regulations

You can find a list of the stonemasons who registered with NAMM or BRAMM below:

The stonemason will submit an application form to us detailing the memorial you wish to install.

Every application is subject to a fee. View a list of cremation and burial prices.

The stonemason will pay the appropriate cemetery fee on your behalf and then recoup it from you.

They can only proceed with the installation once they have received a permit from us.


Doing the work yourself

It is important that our cemeteries are safe places for people to visit and work in.

That is why any stonemasons wishing to work there must be registered with NAMM or BRAMM.

However, families can also install their own memorials but are restricted to only:

  • wooden crosses
  • stone vases
  • decorative stone surrounds

If you wish to place one of these memorials on a grave you need to submit an application form to the Council and pay the appropriate cemetery fee.

View a list cremation and burial fees.

You can get an application form from Bereavement Services.

Once your application has been approved, we will send you a permit so you can proceed with the work.

Only bedding plants or bulbs may be planted on a grave. Trees and shrubs of any kind are not permitted and will be removed without  notice.

Communal areas and items 

The following may not be placed on, or attached to any communal areas / items in the cemeteries:

  • memorial
  • vases
  • flowerpots
  • balloons
  • candles
  • any other type of memorial

The Council has the right to remove these items without prior notice.

The communal areas / items include:

  • Gates, entrances, walls, fences and railings
  • Roads and paths
  • Grass verges and roundabouts
  • Trees, hedges and flower beds
  • Chapels
  • Cenotaphs
  • Contractor compounds and welfare facilities