Whitchurch Joint Cemetery Board Regulations

The following model Regulations have been approved by the Whitchurch Joint Cemetery Board.


1. Nothing shall be erected or placed in the cemetery until the consent of the Board 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.

2. 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.


3. The incumbent will normally be able to sanction:

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

a. Simple vertical headstones not exceeding 1200mm (4ft) high, measured from the surface of the ground, 900mm (3 ft) wide and 150mm (6 inches) thick.

b. 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).

c. 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

a. Simple memorial stones. Such stones shall not exceed 533mm x 533mm (21 inches x 21 inches).


4. 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 no longer permitted.

Epitaphs and Inscriptions

5. 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 the incumbent in accordance with paragraph 1 above.

6. 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 the incumbent in writing in accordance with the application guide Memorial Application Information.

7. No advertisement or trademark should be inscribed on the headstone but the mason‘s name or mason‘s mark may be inscribed on the side or reverse of memorial stones, near the foot or on the plinth in letters no larger than 13 mm (1/2 inch) in height, such letters to be unleaded and unpainted.

8. 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

9. Due regard must be paid to the nature of the ground and the problem of potential settlement. Memorials with or without a raised plinth (see para 3b) may 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 must be adequate dimension below ground level to ensure continued stability.

Materials for Headstones, etc.

10. All monuments shall be made of stone which is harmonious with its surroundings. Native stones traditionally used in local buildings and memorials, or stones similar to them in colour and texture are to be preferred.
11. Such natural unpolished stone will be insisted on in contexts such as ancient churchyards or areas immediately surrounding traditional church buildings or other areas of graveyards possessing a predominantly traditional, harmonious aspect.
12. However, in cemeteries of more recent date, imported and highly finished stones may be commonly found and in these contexts only such materials such as black, grey, blue and red granites (polished or unpolished) may be permitted at the discretion of the incumbent. When incumbents feel any doubt they should require the applicant to apply for a faculty.
a. Photographs, porcelain or plastic portraits are not permitted to be affixed to any memorial or to form part of its design.
b. Inscribed portraits or other representations of the deceased are similarly not permitted.
13. Memorials made of synthetic or reconstructed stone, ceramics, plastics or metal are not permitted.

Treatment of Gravespaces and Maintenance

14. 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.
15. Bulbs may be planted in the soil of any grave but not trees, shrubs or plants which might impede mowing.
16. 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.
17. 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 permitted.
18. Persons to whom is deputed the day-to-day upkeep of the cemetery may remove wreaths, cut flowers, etc when they appear to be withered or dead.
19. Artificial flowers are not permitted with the exception of Remembrance Day poppies.

Cremeted Remains

20. The Board may permit cremated remains to be deposited in the cemetery. The remains shall not be scattered, but interred after prior arrangement with the incumbent, preferably directly into the earth without a container.
21. Memorial tablets in connection with cremated remains are permitted only in areas designated and set aside for the purpose. Additional inscriptions to existing memorials are permitted in compliance with the dimensions in paragraph 5.


22. The Whitchurch Joint Cemetery Board is not responsible for and accepts no liability in respect of the following:-
a. Any damage, loss or destruction of headstone, graveside additions, chattels and property occurring at the cemetery.
b. 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.
c. 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.