Cemetery & Churchyard Memorial Inspections Aug 2023

Week commencing 21st August 2023

Memorial Headstone Safety

North Tawton Town Council, in accordance with health and safety legislation, is undertaking an ongoing inspection programme to check the condition of memorial headstones within its cemeteries.  Any found to be unsafe and likely to cause serious injury may be laid flat or “lowered down” into the excavated area at the head of the grave in front of the memorial base (this will enable some or all of the inscription to remain visible).

Alternatively, the memorial may be “staked and banded” by the Council’s Contracted Memorial Inspector.  The stakes and bands are attached to the memorials to ensure that the danger of the memorial in question falling and cause damage or harm to staff and visitors to the cemetery is reduced.  As this is part of a programme introduced by government legislation it is an offence for the bands to be removed by anyone other than the Memorial Inspector or a Memorial Mason engaged to carry out repairs to the said memorial on behalf of the family.

A memorial is the responsibility of the grave owner.  Any memorials erected since November 2001 should not be affected as long as they were installed to the NAMM & BRAMM standards.  The programme has been devised to ensure that the memorials that pose the greatest risk are dealt with first.

If you have any concerns about the testing or want information about how to make your memorial safe, please contact the Town Council Office during normal working hours on 01837 880121, email townclerk@northtawtontowncouncil.gov.uk or write to:

North Tawton Town Council, 14a The Square, North Tawton EX20 2EP