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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I choose or pre-purchase a grave?

No. There are a number of reasons why the Council had finished this practise foremost of which is that pre selling plots can have a snowball effect with many plots being sold in different parts of the cemetery.

How many people can be buried in a grave?

Usually two people unless otherwise specified but this must be asked for before the first burial occurs. Cremated remains may also be interned.

What kind of memorials can be used in the cemetery?

With the onset of rigorous Health and Safety checks and enforcement concerning memorials it was decided by the Council to allow only Lawn Memorials to be erected in our cemeteries from 1st January 2006. We have allowed for a range of sizes within the Lawn Memorial type so individual styles and tastes can be accommodated. These memorials also help keep maintenance costs down and remove a trip hazard. Lawn memorials are being phased in gradually where a row or section has already been started by the placement of a different memorial.

Who is responsible for maintaining the memorial?

It is the responsibility of the Exclusive Rights Owner to maintain the memorial – that is the Next of kin or personal representative of the deceased. If a problem arises with a memorial, we try to contact the Exclusive Rights Owner, asking him/her to attend to the repairs required. If they cannot be traced and the memorial is unsafe, we must make it safe to fulfil our Health & Safety responsibilities. In such circumstances we would normally lay the memorial flat.

Can we choose any Memorial Mason to erect a Memorial?

Yes. As long at that Memorial Mason is registered with BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons).

How can I locate a relative's grave?

We hold records dating back to 1860. As long as the deceased's name and year of death is provided, staff should be able to assist in locating the section and grave space number. Please use the Cemetery Database to locate information yourself if possible first.

 Search the Cemetery Database

When will I be able to have a Lawn Memorial erected onto the grave?

Where foundations are provided for lawn memorials these allow the use of ground anchors and fixings that comply with the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Recommended Code of Practice. It is possible to erect a memorial almost immediately.

In cemeteries where the headstone is erected directly on the excavated area of the grave, it is best to leave the erection date to your BRAMM registered mason who will decide when it is best to erect it.

Why have I only been sold the grave for a set period of time? - I want the grave forever!

Local Authorities are not authorised to sell the land in which the burial is to take place. Cemeteries' law stipulates that only the exclusive right of burial to a grave can be sold. This right may be granted for a period of no more than 100 years. The law does permit the period of right of burial to be added to and to be handed down to younger generations, so the grave can stay in the family for as long as they wish. However, ownership will never be issued for more than 100 years at any one time. Some Authorities write to owners at appropriate intervals offering the opportunity to extend their right of burial. Even where this option to extend is not offered, the owner of the right of burial can renew the right at the end of the term.

I am told the grave is for two people - there is only one person in the grave and I now want two more burials to take place in the grave.

When a grave is purchased to take two full body burials, the depth to which the grave is excavated for the first burial must take into account the need for the second burial. There are legal requirements as to how much earth must be left on top of the last coffin, and it is therefore not physically possible to put an extra coffin into the grave without breaking the law. However, after the grave is full for burial of coffins, cremated remains caskets or urns may still be buried within the grave.

How do I arrange a burial?

Burials are normally arranged by contacting a Funeral Director.

Are new graves available in all the Council's cemeteries?

New graves are available at New Quay, Cefn Llan (Aberystwyth), Cardigan and Lledrod.

There are no new graves available in Plas Crug Cemetery, Aberystwyth and it is only open for existing 'Exclusive Right of Burial' grant owners OR people whose relatives are buried in the cemetery and who can prove they are next of kin (this is reliant on the fact that there is space in the grave for another burial).

Why do the regulations seem so harsh?

The burial authority has a duty of care to ensure that the cemetery is properly managed and is a safe environment for anyone to visit regardless of the purpose of his or her visit.

Why do I have to make an application to erect a memorial when I own the plot?

Only the burial authority owns the plot! You may only own the grant that gives you the Right to Burial in that plot for the time specified on the grant itself. Your Memorial Mason would normally apply for a Right to Erect a Memorial Grant.

When will my memorial have a health and safety check?

All memorials will eventually be tested in compliance with current regulations on a five-year cycle.

Why can't I plant my own tree/bush?

The roots of trees and bushes often pose problems when roots spread into other grave areas and if they are badly placed they get in the way of routine grounds maintenance.

What can I place on or around my headstone?

Flower vases are to be securely mounted on the base of the headstone. Please consider this when arranging for a new headstone or when having an additional inscription incorporated. Other personal items should not be placed on the base of the memorial stone/tablet or in the lawn area covering the rest of the grave.

Will the stability testing damage memorials?

No. The measuring equipment used is extremely accurate and sensitive. This ensures that only the specified testing force is applied to the memorial. The slightest movement of the memorial is detected allowing the testing to stop. This means that there is no risk of the test damaging a secure memorial.

Are the Burial Grounds consecrated?

Yes and No.

Cardigan has both Consecrated and Unconsecrated sections as does Plas Crug, Aberystwyth.

New Quay, Lledrod and Cefn Llan (Aberystwyth) has individual graves which may be blessed or left unconsecrated according to the wishes of the deceased or next of kin.