Purchasing a Memorial Headstone
A memorial headstone is widely recognised as a way of commemorating someone's life, creating an historical record and providing a focal point for family and friends to visit.
The council is committed to offering the widest possible choice of designs available and that your memorial should be fixed to the highest standards.
Ensure you will be able to obtain permission to erect a memorial.
In accordance with English Law, the city council may grant permission only to the owner of the Right of Burial (the person named on the Deed of Grant) or another person who has the owner's written authority to do so.
If you are in any doubt as to who the owner of the grave is, please check with the cemetery office in the first instance.
Contact an approved Memorial Mason
You can find a approved list at the list at the bottom of this page.
By doing so you are likely to get a competitive quotation and a wider choice of memorials. Also you should ascertain what the mason offers in the way of written guarantees of good workmanship, in addition to those required by Worcester City Council. Remember only masons approved by the City Council may carry out masonry work in the City Cemeteries.
Inspect the work of individual masons and obtain a personal recommendation
Visit the cemeteries and examine their work in situ. Masons are obliged to identify their work by inscribing their names on the back of the memorials, so a number of examples may be in evident in the vicinity of your grave.
Having decided on a particular mason and chosen your memorial:-
Ask your mason to FORMALLY APPLY to the Cemetery Office BEFORE you confirm your order.
You should present the Deed of Grant pertaining to the grave to the mason to show the name of the person entitled to place a memorial or additional inscription on it. You will be required to provide additional proof that you are now entitled to place a memorial or additional inscription on the grave, if you are not the person named on the deed.
Until permission has been obtained for the design and inscription of the memorial and ownership of the grave confirmed, do not commit yourself financially.
Obtain a COPY OF YOUR ORDER, including:-
- Assurance that the memorial can be removed if the grave is reopened & any costs involved.
- A photograph or specification of the memorial you are purchasing.
- Details of the inscription you have requested.
- The agreed price.
- A date of completion.
Although the risk of damage to your memorial is very low, it is strongly recommended that you take out an insurance policy to cover any eventualities.
Your chosen stone mason will most likely be able to assist you with purchasing the appropriate cover.
The memorial remains the property of the owner and does not in time revert to the council.
Should the memorial become unstable and cause damage to persons or property, any claim that may arise would be against the owner of the memorial and not the council.
The council has no liability for damage, unless it can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt, that the damage has been caused by cemetery staff during grounds maintenance operations.
The council has the authority to remove memorials after expiry of the right of burial in the grave and can take action to reduce the risk of an unsafe memorial causing injury to visitors. A fee is charged should this occur, at the prevailing rate in the council's published fees and charges.
Memorial safety FAQs
Worcester City Council is carrying out inspections of headstones in council run cemeteries.
- Memorial safety FAQs (pdf)
Approved list of Memorial Masons
All Stonemasons who carry out work in Worcester's cemeteries must hold a current registration with BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) and all work must be carried out in accordance with the NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) or BRAMM current Code of Conduct which complies with BS 8415.
This ensures that the Stonemason is suitably qualified, competent and will always provide high standards of workmanship.
All Stonemasons should provide to the customer on completion of the works, a certificate of compliance, which is supported by the NAMM or BRAMM Code of Working Practice and whatever legislation is in force, at the time the installation is carried out.
Local Stonemasons who are currently authorised to work in Worcester's cemeteries are:-