Gainsborough Town Council’s ongoing safety programme involves the inspection of memorials in Gainsborough General Cemetery for stability and safety.

The works of inspection are being undertaken from the 1st May 2024 to the 31st July 2024 and include making safe any memorial, which may require laying it flat immediately to make it safe – please refer to the inspection process below.

Any memorial that does not meet the health and safety stability inspection requirements will be provided with a notice and may be laid flat or removed. Additionally, a notice will be sent to the registered holder of the Exclusive Right of Burial for the grave, giving details of the action required by them to make the memorial safe.


We appreciate your assistance and co-operation in ensuring Gainsborough General Cemetery is a safe place for everyone to visit.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a memorial, please do not hesitate to contact Gainsborough Town Council on 01427 811 573.


Memorials will undergo an initial visual check to identify if there are obvious defects or signs of instability. Operatives will look for:

Damaged or eroding bonding.

Movement of parts of a memorial from its original position.

Kerb stones breaking apart.

Undermined or unstable foundations.

Leaning memorials – particularly if there is evidence of recent movement.

Evidence of structural damage or disturbance (e.g. cracks).

The presence of vegetation, which may cause cracks to widen.

If a defect or unstable memorial is observed, such memorials will then be subject to a physical test.

NOTE: Commonwealth War Graves will only undergo a visual check and any observed defects will be reported immediately to the War Graves Commission.


If a memorial does not pass a visual check, it will be subject to a physical check.

The inspection operative will stand to one side of the memorial and apply a firm but steady pressure in different directions to determine to what degree, if any, the headstone is loose. A gentle pressure / force should be gradually increased until a force of approximately 25kg is applied. This force should be exerted in one direction, away from the body and should be repeated from the back of the memorial. Other physical hand tests from the sides of the memorial may also be required on certain designs.