Hemswell Civil Cemetery Regulations & Management Policy

Cemetery Photo

Hemswell Parish Council and Burial Authority have revised the Cemetery Regulations and Management Policy (V 1.2 2024), including a revision to the table of fees as set out below. 

The Burial Clerk will be pleased to answer any questions you have regarding purchase of a Deed of Exclusive Right of Burial (EROB), making arrangements for interment in Hemswell Civil Cemetery, applications for placing memorials or the responsibilities of Grant Holders or maintaining memorials. 









This policy sets out the practices, procedures, and fees for Hemswell Civil Cemetery. The clerk can provide an electronic copy of this document upon request.

This policy aims to:

  • Provide clear and unambiguous information to all visitors and users of the cemetery,
  • Set out the necessary rules and regulations to meet health and safety requirements and to ensure efficient use of burial space in the future,
  • Describe the measures taken to ensure Hemswell Civil Cemetery is a safe, pleasant and peaceful place to visit.

This policy applies equally to all persons who may visit or undertake work in the cemetery, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • Members and Staff of Hemswell Parish Council
  • Visitors
  • Clergy
  • Funeral Directors and Contractors
  • Monumental Masons

This information meets the current relevant legislation and codes of conduct provided by the professional bodies responsible for the management of cemeteries. The policy will be reviewed and updated periodically in accordance with such legislative changes as may be appropriate from time to time.

1.  Responsibility and Management  

Hemswell Civil Cemetery was established in 1951 and is owned and managed by Hemswell PC on behalf of the residents of Hemswell Civil Parish. In managing the Cemetery, Hemswell PC aims to:

  • Provide a sensitive and respectful service to the bereaved.
  • Ensure that sympathetic, supportive, and confidential advice on funeral arrangements is given to the recently bereaved.
  • Maintain the cemetery to a high standard within the budget of Hemswell PC through transparent and fair regulations and fees which are accessible and clearly explained to the public.
  • Undertake fair and sensitive enforcement where regulations are not followed.

As a burial authority, Hemswell PC has a duty under Health and Safety Regulations to do all that is reasonably practical to protect the health and safety of persons who visit or are required to work within the cemetery. To identify potential hazards and risks, the Burial Clerk or other competent person will conduct an informal site inspection at least quarterly and take any necessary action.

2. Cemetery Regulations 

2.1 Hemswell Civil Cemetery is always open for pedestrian access. However, the PC reserves the right to restrict access as necessary for repairs, emergencies or in the interests of public safety.

2.2 Cemetery grounds and memorials therein must always be respected. This means dogs must be kept on a lead under proper control. Dog waste must be collected and securely bagged, plastic flower wrappings or general litter must be disposed of in the black bin provided.

2.3 Separate bins for general and garden-type (green) waste are provided. Only the correct type of waste can be placed in either bin, i.e., no plastic, glass or general waste in the green bin. 

2.4 Flowers must be securely held in designated flower vases or holders, e.g., vases made of granite, marble, or metal manufactured for cemetery use. Glass vases, bottles or jugs, and general glassware are easily broken and pose a hazard to contractors and visitors. Hemswell PC reserves the right to remove any item made from glass and any alcohol left on a grave. 

2.5 Floral tributes and other small appropriate tributes must be placed on the headstone base and not on surrounding grassed areas. Hemswell PC reserves the right to remove any floral tributes after four (4) weeks of being placed on the grave or sooner, if necessary, to facilitate grounds maintenance and grass cutting.

2.6 Following a burial or interment, Hemswell PC retains the right to remove funeral flowers, oasis displays or other tributes after 20 days or when they become unsightly. Christmas tributes must be removed by the end of the following January.

2.7 Hemswell PC does not permit the use of any weedkiller or herbicide by members of the public, whether non-selective or selective, around graves, upon graves or anywhere within the cemetery's boundary.

2.8 No trees, shrubs or flowers may be planted in the cemetery without express permission. Hemswell PC reserves the right to prune or remove any planted material already existing if, in the opinion of the Parish Council, it has become unsightly, overgrown, or deemed to have an adverse impact upon any grave space or interferes with grass cutting and general maintenance.

3. Location, Layout and Designations of Cemetery

The civil cemetery is located on Hemswell Lane and is divided into East and West sections by a central path. It provides consecrated and non-consecrated ground and an area for the interment of ashes.

There are two benches placed at the North and South ends of the cemetery. The cemetery has a water supply for use by visitors to the cemetery.

4.  Interments – Fees, Payments and Rules

4.1 Schedule of Fees

Burial fees

4.2  Purchase of a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial (EROB)- Residents of Hemswell Civil Parish may be interred in the cemetery subject to payment of the appropriate fee. ‘Resident’ is defined as a person who ‘resided in the parish at the time of their death’. See also 4.3.

4.3 Anyone who dies in a retirement or care home outside Hemswell Parish but who was previously resident in the civil parish immediately before they moved into care will be treated as if they were still resident in the parish at the date of death.  

4.4 Non-residents may also be interred in the cemetery if, in the opinion of the Parish Council, there is space available to accommodate the interment and subject to payment of fees as set out in 4.1

4.5 Burial may only occur in graves shown on the cemetery plan which is available from the Clerk. The Burial Clerk will determine which grave should be allocated in liaison with the Parish Council, but the wishes of the applicant(s) shall be met as far as is practicable.

4.6 Note that a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial permits a right of interment and does not confer ownership of the ground where a grave or cremated remains are situated.

4.7  By proper application and payment of the appropriate fees, the owner of an Exclusive Right to Burial will be able to:

  • Place and maintain an approved memorial on the grave space to which the Exclusive Right to Burial corresponds, subject to completion and approval of the form (Application for Permission to Erect a Memorial/Add Inscription)  
  • Add an additional inscription on the memorial.

4.8 If the owner of the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial dies, it is assumed they gave permission to have themselves interred in the grave. After this, the Rights become part of their estate and may be left in a will or assigned by their executors to someone else. If the Rights are not specifically mentioned in the will, they form part of the 'residue' of the will, usually willed as 'and all my other worldly goods' at the end of the will.

4.9 A Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial shall be considered as the personal estate of the grantee and, as such, may be assigned in their lifetime or bequeathed by Will. Every such assignment or Probate of Will etc. should be produced to the Burial Clerk together with the appropriate fee as set out in 4.1 for the transfer to be duly registered.

4.10 A Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may be transferred to another person on application to the Burial Clerk and on payment of an administration fee as set out in 4.1. The transfer will be treated as if it is a new purchase but will not alter the expiry date of the Grant of Exclusive Rights to Burial

4.11 Records of the Grant of Exclusive Rights to Burial are maintained by the Burial Clerk in a designated Book.

4.12 The Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial may be surrendered at any time, without refund of the purchase fee, on return of the Grant to the Burial Clerk. If the owner of the Grant fails to notify the Burial Clerk of a change of address and cannot be contacted subsequently, the Grant will be deemed to have been surrendered. Before terminating the Grant, the Burial Clerk will write to the last known address of the owner of the Exclusive Rights. If no reply is received within four weeks of the date of the letter, the Burial Clerk will contact any known relatives who reside in the civil parish to ask them to contact the owner of the Grant. If no contact can be made within twelve weeks of the original letter to the owner of the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial, the Grant will be terminated without a refund of the original purchase fee. If contact is made after this time, the Grant may be restored, on its original terms, at the discretion of the Burial Clerk and provided that the plot is still available.  

5. Interment and Burial Arrangements

5.1 No interment shall take place without the express permission of the Burial Clerk on behalf of Hemswell PC via completion and submission of the Notice of Interment form. Requests for interment must be made at least five (5) working days prior to the interment to the Burial Clerk.  Access to the cemetery to undertake work must be sought via the Clerk.

5.2 After notice of interment has been given, any alteration required in the arrangements will be subject to the consent of the Burial Clerk. An additional charge might apply if an alteration is likely to incur additional expenses for Hemswell PC.

5.3 Notice of Interment must give accurate external dimensions of the coffin to be used for burial, inclusive of handles and other ornamentation. Proposals to use a coffin exceeding the current standard size should be referred to the Burial Clerk for advice.

5.4 Earthen graves must not be less than 4 ft 6 inches in depth. Only one burial per grave space is permitted.

5.5 Earthen graves will be of traditional lawn style. No new kerbed graves are permitted in the cemetery.

5.6 The registrar’s form must be completed, and fees and charges must be paid to the Hemswell PC before the day of interment.

5.7 The hours of interment shall generally be between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday. Interments will not normally occur at weekends or public holidays but may be permitted in special circumstances. Hemswell PC will sympathetically consider any reasonable interment application outside normal hours and where such application is made on religious grounds.

5.8 Interment of cremated remains may take place:

         i) In the designated cemetery area, as directed by the Burial Clerk.

         ii) In existing family grave spaces where all interments have been completed.

5.9 Interment of cremated remains will be only permitted provided that the full and formal identity of the deceased is recorded on the casket, either directly inscribed/written or by means of a plaque. If the identity is to be different to the full and formal names submitted on the Notice of Interment, the Burial Clerk must be advised prior to interment, as any discrepancy between the formal name on the Notice of Interment form and that on the casket could cause a delay or postponement of the interment.

5.10 If a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial has been purchased, but a decision is made for the deceased to be cremated, the burial of cremated remains caskets is allowed in the full grave space, subject to the Grant holder’s written permission. For the surrender of a Grant of Exclusive Rights see 4.10.


6. Memorials (Headstones), Monuments and Inscriptions

6.1 Memorials may only be placed on graves where a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial has been purchased. A minimum of eight (8) months must have elapsed between the date of interment and the date of erection of a memorial to allow settlement of soil and reduce the likelihood of movement of the memorial and subsequent cost and distress to the owner.

6.2 No memorial shall be placed in the cemetery, and no additional inscription shall be made on any memorial without completion of an application for permission to erect a memorial/add inscription form, available from the Burial Clerk.

6.3 Hemswell PC requires memorial masons to adhere to the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Code of Ethics and Practice or its equivalent [see footnote 4]. This includes the use of appropriate foundations and fixings or other suitably secure methods for the installation of stone memorials. When seeking to erect a memorial, the Monumental Mason must complete a memorial application form which includes details of the purchaser. The named purchaser will be regarded as the owner of the memorial, and any relevant change of details should be notified to the Burial Clerk in writing as soon as possible.

6.4 All memorials, vases, tablets, plaques, inscriptions, and plantings must be approved by Hemswell PC prior to installation/works via completion and submission of the appropriate form (Application for Permission to Erect a Memorial/Add Inscription).  Any item that contravenes these regulations or is placed without prior approval may be relocated, and a charge will be made, see 4.1 Schedule of Fees.

6.5 Following permission to erect a memorial or place a plaque, the Monumental Mason must give at least three clear working days’ notice to the Burial Clerk prior to installation.

6.6 It is the owner's or Grant holder’s responsibility to maintain a memorial in a safe and good state of repair. In the event of any memorial becoming dangerous or defective, Hemswell PC may, in accordance with the powers and procedures set out in Article 16(2) and Schedule 3 of the Local Authorities Cemetery Order 1977, give notice to the owner requiring them to repair or remove the memorial as set out in the Hemswell PC Memorial Safety and Inspection Policy (available upon request). Under no circumstances may repairs or remedial work be undertaken by relatives of the deceased or members of the public.

6.7 Given the Grant holder's responsibility to maintain a memorial in a safe state of repair, it is recommended that holders take out appropriate insurance to mitigate the potential cost of repair/replacement due to accidental damage, deterioration, etc.

6.8 The Grant holder will be given a reasonable timescale to commission repair or remedial work. If, after the expiration of the notice period given by the PC, the Grant holder fails to repair or remove the memorial, or if the PC has been unable to trace the owner after it has taken such reasonable steps as it may consider necessary for that purpose, Hemswell PC reserves the right to take appropriate action to make the Cemetery safe.

6.9 Dimensions & Specification of memorials and plaques. Hemswell PC require that:-

  • Headstones should not exceed maximum height of 3’ 9” (1125 mm) including depth of base and 9” (229 mm) thickness.
  • Cremation plaques/tiles should not exceed 12” x 12” (300 mm).
  • Any memorial not of these dimensions may only be erected at the discretion of Hemswell PC.

Supporting Documents

Notice of Interment

Application for Permission to Erect a Memorial/Add Inscription

Grave Space Allocation, Marking and Digging of Grave (PC Internal Use only)

Memorial Safety & Inspection

Cemetery Risk Assessment





April 2023

Last Reviewed

July 2024

Review period


DOCUMENT CONTROL: Rev 1.0 Adopted April 2023. 

DOCUMENT CONTROL: Rev 1.1 Reviewed September 2023. Adopted without changes.

DOCUMENT CONTROL: Rev 1.2 Reviewed July 2024. Governing document links updated, use of weedkiller/herbicides in grounds forbidden.