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Whitchurch Cemetery

Cemetery Regulations

Approved by Whitchurch Town Council 16 June 2022.


Nothing shall be erected or placed in the Cemetery until the consent of Whitchurch Town Council to such proposals has been obtained in writing. Applicants for consent should give a full description of proposed designs, measurement, inscriptions and type and finish of stone proposed to be used. Only one memorial per grave space permitted.

Applicants are advised not to accept any estimate or otherwise enter into a contract with a funeral director or stonemason until such written authorisation has been obtained.

Whitchurch Town Council will normally be able to sanction:

Memorials marking or recording the burial of human remains other than cremated remains:

  • Simple vertical headstones not exceeding 1200mm (4ft) high, measured from the surface of the ground, 900mm (3 ft) wide and 150mm (6 inches) thick.
  • A plinth or base supporting such headstone not exceeding 300mm (12 inches) from front to back and projection not more than 50mm (2 inches) beyond the back and not more than 75 mm (3 inches) beyond the sides of the headstone, and not thereby causing the memorial to exceed the dimensions in 3(a) above. (The intention of a plinth is to enable a vase or other flower container to be sunk into or placed upon its forward projection).
  • Simple horizontal stones set below ground level so as not to impede a mower and not exceeding 1200 mm (4 ft) in length and 900 mm (3 ft) in width.

Memorial stones, marking or recording the interment of cremated remains:

  • Simple memorial stones. Such stones shall not exceed 533mm x 533mm (21 inches x 21 inches) and be sited in the Garden of Remembrance.


Headstones need not be restricted to a rectangular shape and curved tops are preferable to straight-edged ones. Memorials in the shape of a heart or a book are permitted – other designs may be considered.

Epitaphs and Inscriptions

  • Inscriptions must be simple and reverent, though they may include quotations from biblical or suitable literary sources. All inscriptions must receive the prior permission of Whitchurch Town Council in accordance with paragraph 1 above.
  • Additions may be made to inscriptions at a later date, following subsequent interments in the same grave or for other reason, but any such addition or alteration to an inscription must be separately approved by Whitchurch Town Council in writing in accordance with the application guide Memorial Application Information.
  • No advertisement or trademark should be inscribed on the headstone but the masonā€˜s name and grave number must be inscribed on the reverse of the memorial in letters no larger than 13 mm (1/2 inch) in height
  • For all inscriptions plain cut lettering of good design is preferred. Cut letters may be picked out in paint or gilding if appropriate to the design of the monument as a whole. Leaded letters are not permitted on new memorials or existing memorials not previously leaded.

Method of Fixing Headstones

  • Due regard must be paid to the nature of the ground and the problem of potential settlement. Memorials with or without a raised (see paragraph 3b) must rest upon a foundation slab or be set in concrete which does not rise above ground level, does not impede a mower or reveal itself in any unsightly way. Headstones inserted directly into the ground (monolith) must be of adequate dimension below ground level to ensure continued stability.
  • All Memorials must comply with the latest NAMM Code of Working Practices.

Materials for Headstones, etc.

  • Imported and highly finished stones are commonly found in modern cemeteries and such materials such as black, grey, blue and red granites (polished or unpolished) are permitted.
  • Small ceramic photo plaques (not plastic) can be affixed to a memorial subject to approval by Whitchurch Town Council
  • Inscribed portraits or other representations of the deceased can be permitted but, again, must be subject to approval by Whitchurch Town Council
  • Memorials made of synthetic or reconstructed stone, ceramics, plastics or metal are not

Treatment of Gravespaces and Maintenance

  • It is not permitted to introduce kerbs, railings, posts or chains to enclose a grave nor to cover the surface of a grave with chippings or other extraneous materials – any found will be removed
  • Bulbs may be planted in the soil of any grave, but no trees, shrubs or plants are permitted as they impeded mowing of the grass – any found will be removed
  • The surface of the grave shall be levelled, and any mound removed within 6 months of a burial having taken place. It should be flattened and turfed or seeded to allow for mowing.
  • Wreaths and floral tributes may be laid upon a grave and cut flowers arranged in metal or stone vases, set below ground level so as not to impede a mower when not containing flowers. Glass, ceramic, and plastic containers are not
  • Persons carrying out the day-to-day upkeep of the cemetery may remove wreaths, cut flowers, etc when they appear to be withered or dead.
  • Artificial flowers are permitted but will be removed when considered as old and/or faded.

Cremeted Remains

  • Whitchurch Town Council may permit cremated remains to be deposited in the cemetery. The remains shall not be scattered, but interred after prior arrangement with the Council, preferably directly into the earth without a container.
  • Memorial tablets in connection with cremated remains are permitted only in areas designated and set aside for the purpose, usually the Garden of Remembrance. Additional inscriptions to existing memorials are permitted in compliance with the dimensions in paragraph 3.


Whitchurch Town Council is not responsible for and accepts no liability in respect of the following:-

  • Any damage, loss or destruction of headstone, graveside additions, chattels and property occurring at the cemetery.
  • Any damage, loss, destruction, accident, or injury suffered by any person attending the cemetery for any reason resulting from the use of power tools. The use of power tools on cemetery grounds is specifically prohibited.
  • Any accident happening or injury suffered by any person attending the cemetery for any reason other than where liability would arise under current statute or legislation.

The latest version of these Cemetery Regulations was approved by Whitchurch Town Council on 16th June 2022 and replace all previous versions. If you have a query, please contact the Council directly on 01948 665761 or email [email protected]