Memorial Safety Inspection

Padstow Town Council has scheduled a memorial inspection in Padstow Cemetery:

WEEK COMMENCING  8 April 2024  (Weather Permitting)

The inspection will involve testing the stability of all memorials over 5 years old.   The cemetery will remain open during the inspection which will be carried out as discreetly as possible by experienced, qualified personnel from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM).  Where it is necessary to take action to make a memorial safe, this will be undertaken sensitively by an appropriately qualified stonemason.  Such actions will be a temporary measure and will be proportionate to the danger posed.

The Town Council understands the significance that memorials hold for family members and that it can be upsetting to see work being carried out on a memorial to a loved one; a list of frequently asked questions has been prepared below to help answer any questions or concerns families may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is responsible for keeping memorials in a safe condition?
Memorials are the responsibility of the owner/s of the Exclusive Right of Burial and they have a duty to keep the memorial repaired and in a safe condition.

Why is a memorial inspection needed?
The Town Council has a responsibility under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure that risks within the cemetery are properly managed.   As a result, the Health and Safety Executive requires regular safety inspections and stability testing to be carried out on memorials in Padstow Cemetery.

What do the inspections involve?

  • Each headstone will have a visual inspection to assess its condition.
  • A hand test will then be conducted to check that the memorial is not in any immediate danger of falling (memorials under 1.5m in height and on non-complex structures over 1.5m)
  • A confirmatory test using a mechanical force measuring device will be undertaken only if felt necessary after the results of the hand test are found to be inconclusive and where some movement is felt (memorials 625mm to 1.5m in height). Force testing will not exceed 25kg at 1.5m or the apex of the memorial, whichever is the lower.
  • The memorial will be categorised as C1, C2 or C3.

What happens if my memorial fails the inspection?
Memorials that fail the inspection (categorised as C1) are considered to be an immediate danger to the public and immediate action will be taken to reduce or eliminate the identified risk.  Depending on the danger and the size of the memorial a qualified stonemason will either install a stake and band to prevent the memorial falling over or lay the memorial (or part thereof) flat.  Only where it is deemed strictly necessary will access to the memorial be cordoned off.

How will I know if my memorial has failed the inspection?
The Town Council’s immediate priority is to make sure that Padstow Cemetery is safe for the public.  Memorials that fail the inspection will have a notice attached to them and the Town Council will write to the owner/s of the Exclusive Right of Burial (where data is less than 30 years old).   Please read the failure letter carefully as it will explain the reasons your memorial has failed and the steps necessary to reinstate your memorial to the required standard and the timescale for doing so.

If you have not been written to it may be because we do not have your most up to date contact details.  To update your contact details please complete a Change of Details form and return it to the Council Offices.  To download a copy of the form, please click on this link.

Can I repair the memorial myself?
For your own safety as well as that of others, all works to memorials in Padstow Cemetery, including repairs and removals, must be undertaken by a BRAMM or NAMM qualified stonemason who must also have relevant public liability insurance.  They will also need to submit a memorial application form for approval before works commence.

How much will the repairs cost to bring the memorial up to the required standard?
All memorials are required to meet current national standards set by the Ministry of Justice and British Standards.  Each memorial is unique and could require different repairs.  You will need to contact a stonemason to quote for these works.  The Town Council recommends that all memorials within Padstow Cemetery are insured against all risks.  If you have insurance cover for your memorial, please check with your stonemason or insurer to find out if repair work is covered.

What happens if I am not the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial?
You will need to contact the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial for information regarding the memorial’s repair.  Provided that you obtain their signed permission on the relevant memorial application form, you can arrange for the memorial’s repair.    If you need to discuss transferring the ownership of an EROB, please contact the Council Offices.

What has Padstow Town Council done to inform visitors and owners of the memorial inspection?
Notices have been placed in the cemetery car park, at various locations throughout the cemetery, and on the Town Council’s website, social media pages and noticeboards.

Will my memorial be subject to further tests in the future?
Yes, similar tests will be conducted at regular intervals in the future, at least every five years.   It is recommended that memorials are insured and that they are regularly and professionally checked and maintained by your stonemason to ensure they are safe.

Where can I get further information?
Full details of The Padstow Cemetery Memorial Management Policy can be viewed by clicking on this link. If you require any further information, or would like to discuss a specific memorial, please speak to a member of our team at the Council Offices – Telephone: 01841 532296, Email: or Visit: Padstow Town Council, Station House, Station Road, Padstow PL28 8DA  (reception hours – weekdays between 10am and 1pm)

Further information about Padstow Cemetery, including cemetery fees, cemetery Interment information, Exclusive Right of Burial information and more can be found on the following webpage :