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Memorial Masons Guidance In Cemeteries

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Gainsborough Town Council

Richmond House, Richmond Park, Morton Terrace, Gainsborough, DN21 2RJ

Web: Cemeteries – Gainsborough Town Council (
Office Open Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Tel: (01427) 811573

All professional Memorial Masons must meet the following conditions:
  • Public Liability Insurance to a value of £5m – (copy certificate to be sent to the Town Clerk before the first installation after 1st April 2017 and then on insurance renewal each year)
  • All installers must be BRAMM or RQMF registered and provide evidence of accreditation on request.
  • All work will conform at least to NAMM Code of Practice or the BRAMM Blue Book and Statutory Regulations. Adherence to nationally recognised professional Codes of Conduct is considered essential.

a) Applications for permission for the right to have a memorial can only be made by the grave owner. An application fee is payable in advance. If permission is granted, it is valid for 30 years only, after which the grave owner may extend the period for a further 5 years on the production of a certificate of memorial inspection and payment of the Council’s reasonable administration costs (All fees are published annually). Rules apply as to the type, size, style, material and wording that can be used and all memorial designs and inscriptions must be approved in writing by the Town Clerk prior to installation.

b) Before a memorial can be installed between 6 & 12 months must have elapsed from the date of the interment. Memorials for cremated remains and in the baby section may be allowed after 6 months depending on ground conditions.

When can the memorial be erected?

Memorials should not be installed until at least 6 months after the date of the interment to allow for full settlement of the soil within the grave plot, this should then ensure the stability and longevity of the memorial (for further information and advice contact the memorial mason).

Temporary Memorials

An informal application can be made to the Council regarding the installation of a temporary memorial, this may be a wooden cross that can be sourced by the funeral director or memorial mason company. Temporary memorials deteriorate quickly and so after six months the Council reserves the right to remove any temporary memorials without prior notice or right of appeal. Artificial memorials must not be placed at any time.

Can the Grave Owner apply to put a monument there themselves?

No – In order to protect the health and safety of the public in the cemetery we only permit BRAMMS, RQMF or NAMM registered stone masons to install memorials in the cemetery.


Memorials are only permitted at the head end of full graves or in line with the existing memorials in the section.  No railing, planting, loose fill material, horizontal or concrete memorials are permitted.

The standard size of a memorial within the non cremated remains / children’s sections shall be no more than: –

  • three feet (36″) in height measured from the ground
  • two feet six inches (30″) in width
  • four inches (4″) in thickness
Children’s Section

No memorial within the children’s section shall exceed: –

  • two feet (24″) in height measured from the ground
  • two feet (24″) in width
  • four inches (4″) in thickness
Cremated Remains Section

No memorial within the cremated remains section shall exceed: –

  • two feet (24″) in height measured from the ground
  • two feet (24″) in width
  • four inches (4″) in thickness

Synthetic stone or plastic must not be used.

Every effort should be made to keep any inscriptions simple and any epitaph appropriate. Inscriptions should be on the front of the memorial only. The grave number only may be marked on the reverse


Within these limitations the Grave Owner may apply to have any design of memorial you like. We will consider each memorial on its own merits and will generally approve a monument as long as it is not likely to offend or in bad taste and is sufficiently well constructed to be safe for at least the period of the Rights. If we refuse permission an explanation will be given. The type of monument wanted may be limited by the area of the cemetery your grave is in (for example some ground is unsuitable for larger memorials).


New sections from K onwards within the Councils Cemeteries will only allow memorials that have flower holders incorporated within the headstone in order to keep the graves neat and tidy and to remove hazards that may cause harm to the grounds maintenance operatives.

No kerbstones, railing, planting, loose fill material, horizontal or concrete memorials are permitted.


Materials must be natural stone (e.g. granite, marble, Portland). Reconstituted stone, resin or plastic materials are not permitted. Any wording and images should be appropriate to the setting as a cemetery and it is delegated to the Town Clerk to determine what is decent and appropriate. In this matter the Council have determined that the Town Clerk’s decision is final.

All memorials must have the name of the registered Mason together with the grave number inscribed on the reverse of the headstone.


No installation will be allowed unless the appropriate rights and approvals have been given in writing.

Installation appointments and details must be made and confirmed at least 5 clear working days prior to the proposed installation with the Cemetery Administrator (01427 811573). When making the appointment an estimate of the installation process duration shall be given.

A Council representative will attend site to agree the grave location and exact siting of the memorial. The representative will only allow installation if the installer can produce a valid BRAMM registration document, a NAMM RQMF registration document or is accompanied and supervised by someone holding these. Documents must relate to those on-site erecting the memorial, not the company owner or another company employee. 

Following installation, the Memorial Mason must issue a certificate of installation and compliance that confirms that the memorial has been installed in accordance with the BRAMM Blue Book or NAMM Code of Practice and adhering to BS 8415, together with a copy of the guarantee that applies to the memorial (minimum 10 years).