We conduct memorial safety checks in our cemeteries and closed churchyards to make sure they are safe places for you to visit. These checks are conducted every 5 years

The checks are a legal requirement and are undertaken every 5 years to ensure the safety for mourners and users of the cemeteries and churchyards.  Failed memorials will be marked with a notice and the deed holder will be requested to contact the Council for further information.

If you own a memorial headstone at the Lawn or Hyde Cemetery, it would greatly assist the cemetery team if you could please check we have the correct details for the deed holder.

Should you have any enquiries regarding the memorial stability testing please contact the Council on 01707 357 000 or contact-whc@welhat.gov.uk.



Notices are placed at each cemetery/closed churchyard prior to and during checks being undertaken.


What does the test involve?

A specially trained contractor will start by doing a visual inspection of the memorial, followed by a hand test.  This will involve pressure being applied to the memorial to check for movement. In most cases, there will be no movement and a record will be kept that the memorial has passed the test. If the memorial moves it will fail the test.


What will happen to memorials that fail the test?

Memorials which are categorised as high risk will be laid flat and cordoned off by hazard tape.  Memorials which are found to be unstable but unlikely to cause immediate danger will have just a warning notice attached.

For memorials that fail at the Lawn and Hyde Cemetery, letters will be sent to the deed holders advising of the failure. For memorials that fail in the closed churchyards, notices will be placed around the churchyards advising how to contact the Council for further information.

It is the responsibility of the grave owner, or their next of kin, to make sure that the memorial headstone is kept in a safe condition.


What to do if your memorial has failed the test

If your memorial has failed the safety test, you will need to contact a qualified stonemason to have it repaired. You will need to be the deed holder to enable work on the memorial. Please do not try to move or make repairs to the memorial yourself. Once the repairs have been made, you will then need to contact us to approve the repairs. We will do this free of charge.


How you can help

If you own a memorial headstone at the Lawn or Hyde Cemetery, please check that we have the correct contact details. If you own a memorial headstone at one of the closed church burials grounds, please contact the church to ensure they have your current contact details via their websites.