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Memorial options for cemeteries


Grave memorials

Whilst the council is responsible for maintaining the cemetery in a safe condition, you have a responsibility to maintain your memorial in a safe condition. If you fail to do this the cemetery staff may take action to make the memorial safe. Cemetery staff carry out routine inspections of memorials in the cemetery and when one is identified as being unstable and likely to fall and injure someone it might be cordoned off, laid flat or have a temporary support installed. You will receive a letter in these circumstances and it will be your responsibility to arrange suitable repair. Should your memorial still be under guarantee the memorial mason will be responsible to carry out repair at no extra cost to you. We strongly recommend that you insure your memorial; your stonemason will arrange this for you.

Information about the cost of these items can be found on the Fees and Charges page.

Memorial stones

Before a memorial stone can be placed on a grave approval is needed from the council. This is to ensure that all grave memorials within the cemetery are of an approved type and are erected in a safe and satisfactory manner by authorised and experienced companies. 

Before a memorial can be placed written consent is required from the owner of the grave provided on an application form. Bereavement services staff need to check that the memorial conforms to regulations will be erected in a safe manner and checked for stability under health and safety regulations. To a certain extent this helps protect your interests as we can ensure that your stonemason is working to the correct standard. 

Memorials are not permitted on public graves but may be erected on purchased graves, providing they comply with these regulations:

  • Notice must be given before removing or carrying out work on a memorial. 
  • The council may remove memorials from purchased graves when the period of burial has expired following consultation with the bereaved. 
  • Memorials are not allowed on any grave unless the exclusive rights have been purchased and an interment has taken place. 
  • No memorial will be permitted on an empty grave. 
  • We strongly recommend that memorial stones are not placed onto a grave until 6 months after a burial has taken place, to allow the ground to settle. 
  • Name only on back of headstones, at Council’s discretion.

Memorial benches

A memorial bench can be supplied and located in the crematoria, cemeteries and some parks.  These come with a fixed plaque with an inscription of your choice, and can be for a duration of 10 year or lifetime lease.  Further details and pricing can be obtained from the Bereavement services office.

Contact us

Bereavement Services
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Tel: 0191 433 3816 or 433 3811

Office opening times: Monday to Friday 9am-1pm, 2 - 4.30pm