Advice and Information for Grave Owners



The ownership of a Grant of Exclusive Rights of Burial within a grave plot not only conveys certain rights upon the owner, but also imposes a number of responsibilities.

These notes briefly describe the ownership rights and responsibilities for your information. Should you require further clarification of the points raised or any additional information about cemetery matters, please contact staff at the address given at the end of the notes who will be pleased to assist.


Ownership of Exclusive Right of Burial does not imply ownership of the land itself or the right to carry out any particular activity on the grave plot. The ownership of the Cemetery land including the grave surface remains with

Measham Parish Council.

The person registered with the council as the owner of the Exclusive Rights of Burial during the period they have been granted, 100 years, will have the sole right to decide who may be interred within the grave.

The Exclusive right of Burial also includes the right to have a memorial, of a design and method of construction approved by the Council, installed on the grave plot.

It is important to retain the Deed in a secure place, as it is the only legal document held by the owner confirming their entitlement to the burial and memorial rights. It is also important to notify us of any change of address.


Although Exclusive Right of Burial is granted for a period of 100 years, this does not imply any intention on our part to resell the grave or reuse it in any way that may cause disturbance to human remains or to remove any memorial except for reasons of safety.

Exclusive Rights of Burial may be purchased for up to two normal interments within the grave plot. However, even when the grave plot is full with respect to normal burials, it may still be utilised for the interment of cremated remains thereafter.

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If you wish to transfer Exclusive Right of Burial to another person, you can do so by means of a form obtainable from the Parish Office. There is a small administration charge for this. It is important to note that transfer of

Exclusive Right of Burial does not alter the expiry date of the original 100 year term.


Burial areas within the cemetery have been laid out in what is known as the

‘Lawn’ system. Using this system, the Council is able to gain easy access to all graves within the burial section, thus allowing more effective maintenance of grave surfaces at lower cost, and also simplifying the excavation of graves.

In the period following a burial the grave surface will be subject to sinkage due to soil settlement. The initial settlement lasts for 6 to 12 months, during which time the surface will be topped-up by cemetery staff as required.

Once the initial settlement has taken place, the surface will be grassed over. Over future years the grave will continue to settle and may require resurfacing from time to time. Cemetery staff will always re-surface a grave when requested by the Grant owner.


Grant owners are entitled to apply for permission to have one permanent memorial erected upon a grave plot. Due to settlement we recommend a minimum of 6 to 12 months before a memorial is installed.

Normally, the application will be completed and submitted, on behalf of the

Grant owner, by the memorial mason or stone craftsman contracted by the owner to carry out the work.

Measham Parish Council is anxious to ensure that memorials are erected to the highest standard.

Memorials must not exceed 3’5. Memorials in Cremated Remains Section are restricted to 24’ high and 24’ wide.

There are no restrictions upon the design of a memorial other than considerations of public safety and the prevention of offence to cemetery visitors. The most popular form of memorial is a ‘headstone’ i.e. an upright memorial stone placed at the head of a grave. Other forms, such as a

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‘book’, stone plaque, or masonry vase, are also popular. No Kerb stones or grave edgings are to be placed on or around the grave area other than the authorised memorial.

The Grant owner is responsible for ensuring that any memorial masonry installed on their grave plot has been properly constructed, and has been installed in accordance with the standards laid down by the National

Association of Memorial Masons. It is reasonable for the Grant owner to expect their memorial supplier to guarantee their work for a period of 30 years.


The Grant owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the memorial.That person should be aware of the possibility of an unsafe memorial failing on visitors to the cemetery or cemetery staff with possibly fatal results. Even small memorials can cause serious injury to young children.

It is strongly recommended that the Grant owner should have the stability and condition of the memorial checked at least annually. Failure to do so may result in the Grant owner being held liable for any injury or death caused to a third party if the injury or death is shown to be due to the condition of the memorial or the manner in which it was installed.

The Council has a duty of care towards cemetery visitors. In order to comply with this duty, the Council will carry out safety inspections of memorials.

In the event that a memorial is identified as being a potential hazard, the

Council is duty bound to take action to reduce the risk to visitors. If the memorial is unstable, and liable to fall, the memorial has to be laid down onto the ground to reduce the risk of injury to others. The Council will attempt to contact the Grant owner, at their last known address, to inform them of the reason for taking the action. Regular memorial inspections arranged by the Grant owner themselves will avoid the need for such action.


Measham Parish Council will not be held responsible for any damage caused to a grave or memorial except where it can be proved that the damage is the result of grave digging or maintenance operations.

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The Parish Council cannot advise on insurance though it should be considered, we know local brokers PF Spare have facilities to arrange cover. They can be contacted on 01530 270574.


Trinkets, toys and ornaments are also not permitted. Please dispose of all your litter and dead flowers in the bins provided.

Smoking is not permitted within the cemetery.


Arrangements can be made for persons who require to take a vehicle to the top of the cemetery. This can not be allowed at the time of an internment taking place. Arrangements can be made with the Parish Clerk.

Visitors to the cemetery must ensure that their cars are not blocking the entrance to the cemetery or causing a nuisance when a funeral cortege is arriving.


Wreaths placed at Christmas will be removed by the Sexton by February

1 st .

Other wreaths placed i.e for Fathers Day and Mothers Day etc will be removed after one month.


All visitors to the cemetery are expected to act with respect and dignity unsociable behaviour will not be tolerated.

Children must be accompanied at all times and supervised whilst visiting the cemetery.

Dawn Roach

Parish Clerk

Measham Parish Council

56 High Street



DE12 7HZ

Tel: 01530 271833

E Mail

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