(Runners up in Cemetery of the Year Awards 2002 "For excellence & innovation in cemetery management, design & customer service.")
Visitors are asked to familiarise themselves with these rules which exist to ensure the quiet enjoyment of Shaw Cemetery, for everyone:
- Car parking is provided inside the main gate of the cemetery and around the chapel. Please do not drive into prohibited areas or drive or park on grassed areas.
- Public conveniences are situated next to the office
- Water not suitable for drinking, can be found at the side of the conveniences and at the side of the chapel.
For reasons of Health and Safety, access will not be allowed 15 minutes before closing time and visitors are requested to ensure that they leave the Cemetery punctually. During weekdays (excluding Bank Holidays and weekends) cemetery staff are available to help with any problems.
9am till 5pm
From the end of British Summer Time each year to the 1st April the next, the cemetery will close at sunset if that falls before 5pm, with the actual time posted on the gate.
Last access time is 15 minutes before the declared closing time
9am till 5pm
9am till 7pm
9am till 5pm
9am till 5pm
10am till 5pm
10am till 5pm
Bank Holidays inc Xmas Day
10am till 5pm
Arranging a Burial
Usually the arrangements for a burial are organised by a Funeral Director. However, sometimes the bereaved may wish to make their own arrangements and Town Hall personnel are available to advise and assist with the procedures involved:
- Requests for burials may be made to the Services Team at the Town Hall, on weekdays between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm.
- A minimum of two clear working days is required before a burial can take place.
- Burials can take place on weekdays only between the hours of 10am and 4pm. These hours will be shortened, at the Councils discretion, during winter months, depending on sunset times.
- An INTERMENT FORM, available from the Town Hall, must be submitted to and permission granted by the Town Council, before an interment of any kind, including cremated remains, can be carried out.
- Unless a 'Right to Bury' in a particular grave exists, a 'Purchase of Grave Space' form must be completed and the appropriate fee paid to the Town Council.
- Rights to Bury in a particular grave space may be purchased for future use, perhaps to ensure that a grave space is always available close to that of a loved one.
Visitors are sometimes distressed by what they find when visiting the grave of a loved one soon after the burial. Many problems are unavoidable and it may help to know what happens as time passes:
- Please allow about 2 hours after the burial for the grave to be prepared. The Cemetery Staff can advise on the best time to return to view floral tributes.
- Floral tributes are left on display for about 21 days or until they have died naturally or have become unsightly, at which time the cemetery staff will dispose of them.
- Great care is taken when back-filling graves, mechanical methods of compacting soil cannot be used. This means they will subside, sometimes several times, especially during wet weather. This is a natural process that may continue for several years. Following subsidence the cemetery staff will periodically level and seed or turf over the grave, which of course is a gardening function and dependant on the weather.
"Please contact the Town Council if you have any queries and every effort will be made to assist you"
Maintenance of Graves
Shaw is a lawn cemetery and there are therefore rules indicating what may be placed on graves. The aim is to ensure a standard that offends no one, as what pleases one may displease others:
- Glass, china or ware pots and bottles are highly dangerous, and not permitted in the cemetery.
- The planting of plants, shrubs and trees (however small) or the erection of decorative borders is not permitted.
- The Council reserves the right under the Cemeteries Acts to remove unauthorised memorials or items that contravene the cemetery regulations.
- Before a memorial of any kind is erected on a grave, a permit must be issued. This is a legal requirement.
- Usually, all the arrangements are made by a Stone Mason on the family's behalf. However, this is not essential and a permit may be obtained from the Town Hall; council staff are available to offer assistance.
- Designs, materials and inscriptions are vetted before a permit is issued.
- In the interests of public safety, all memorials must be erected in accordance with the latest recommendations of the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM)
"Please contact the Town Council if you have any queries and every effort will be made to assist you"
Memorial Stability Testing
Why is memorial stability testing necessary?
- The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 requires the Council to ensure that memorials are safe and so reduce the potential for injury to those working in or visiting its cemeteries. Although reports of serious incidents involving unsafe memorials are relatively rare nationwide, there have been fatalities and the risk of incident grows with the passing of time and the increase in the number of memorials. The Health and Safety Executive expect local authorities to have a suitable memorial inspection programme.
When will the testing be carried out?
- All memorials within the cemetery will be periodically tested as part of a continuous safety programme. This will normally involve an annual test. Memorials which do not present an immediate danger but may have some defects or deterioration may be tested more frequently.
How will the testing be carried out?
- All testing is carried out by trained staff using specialist equipment. The industry agreed safety standard for testing (based on advice from the Health & Safety Executive / Institute for Cemetery and Crematorium Management) is a pressure of 35kg applied using an appropriate measuring device.
Will memorials be damaged by the stability testing?
- No. The measuring device 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 can be detected and testing will immediately stop. This means that there is no risk of the test damaging a memorial.
Will memorials be laid flat?
- Memorials which fail a stability test but do not represent an immediate danger will be fitted with a temporary support while the grave owner is contacted.
- Where a memorial does represent an immediate danger it may be necessary to place the memorial flat on the grave while the grave owner is contacted.
Will memorials be removed from graves?
- All owners of memorials which have failed a stability test will be contacted and advised of the situation and what to do next. Memorials will not be removed from graves unless the grave owner gives permission or does not take any action to repair or remove the memorial within a specified time.
If you require further information on memorial stability testing please contact Services Dept, Newbury Town Council, Town Hall, Market Place, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 5AA. Tel: 01635 35486
Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Shaw Cemetery
Hours of Interments.
The hours for interments (for all denominations) are as follows:
Mondays (and days immediately following a Bank Holiday) 12noon TO 4.00pm.
Tuesdays to Fridays 10.00am to 4.30pm
These hours will be shortened, at Newbury Town Council's discretion, during winter months, depending on sunset times.
No interment shall take place outside these hours, or on weekends, Good Fridays, Christmas Day or a Bank Holiday except in cases of special emergency or religious reasons and then only at an approved hour and on payment of an appropriate additional fee.
The person having charge of the funeral shall make all arrangements with the officiating clergyman, minister or representative. newbury Town Council undertakes no responsibility in this matter.
Burials and Memorials.
No burial shall take place, no cremated human remains shall be interred, no tombstone or other memorial shall be placed in the Cemetery and no additional inscription shall be made on any tombstone or other memorial without the written permission of Newbury Town Council and after appropriate fees (if any) have been paid.
Notice of Interments.
Not less than two working days notice shall be given of any interment. If the above notice is not given, an extra charge for overtime and any additional expenditure will be made.
All notices of interment must be in writing on the forms provided by the Newbury Town Council and requirements must be clearly and completely stated. The responsibility for any error therein is that of the person signing the notice, particularly so in cases where either the wrong fee is charged as a consequence or where additional fees are afterwards incurred.
Newbury Town Council will refuse to allow interments when there is reason to believe details given on the Notice are incorrect, the disposal certificate is not available for inspection to authenticate the identity of the person to be interred prior to the burial, or if the necessary Notice mentioned above has not been given.
A detailed plan of the Cemetery, showing the position of every grave, shall be kept at the Town Hall and the Cemetery Offices and may be inspected during normal office hours without charge.
Transfer to be Registered
No transfer of an Exclusive Right of Burial in any grave shall be deemed valid unless and until the same is verified and registered at the Town Hall.
Exclusive Right of Burial
Purchase of Exclusive Right of Burial does not purchase the associated plot of land, only the right to use that plot exclusively for the burial of remains or ashes.
It is advisable that once the owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial has been interred within the grave, then arrangement be made for transfer of ownership. No further burials, interments of cremated remains, additional inscriptions or installation of new memorials will be permitted until revised entitled ownership has been established.
No transfer of an Exclusive Right of Burial in any grave shall be deemed valid unless and until the same is verified and registered at the Town hall.
Payment of Fees and Charges
All charges and fees payable for anything in connection with the Cemetery shall be paid to Newbury Town Council before an interment takes place, or any work commences. No receipt other than an official receipt issued by Newbury Town Council will be acceptable as proof of payment.
Receptacles for Flowers
Newbury Town Council reserves the right to remove any receptacle for flowers, which it considers unsuitable or unsightly, without notice. Glass, china or other easily breakable pots and bottles are highly dangerous, and are not permitted in the cemetery.
No glass shade will be placed on any grave.
Monuments etc, only on Purchased Graves
No monument, gravestone or tablet will be allowed over any grave to which the Exclusive Right of Burial has not been purchased.
Erection of Monuments
A person shall not erect or fix or remove or re-erect any monument, gravestone, tablet, inscribed vase, kerb or railing in the Cemetery except with the written permission of Newbury Town Council and after the appropriate fees (if any) has been paid.
Monuments and Inscriptions to be approved
No monument shall exceed 3ft, 6ins (1.07 meters) in height. A person shall not erect or fix any monument or gravestone, tablet, or make any inscription thereon, or place therein any vase bearing an inscription in the Cemetery, without the approval of the Newbury Town Council and shall, before proceeding to erect or fix any such monument, gravestone, tablet or make any inscription thereon, or place any such vase bearing an inscription, furnish to Newbury Town Council a description and measurements of every such monument, gravestone, tablet, vase, kerb or railing, with copies of the proposed inscription thereon, together with a specification of the material and dimensions to be used. All installations must be in accordance with current NAMM recommendations.
Newbury Town Council will remove any unauthorised memorials, kerbs, railings, ornamentation or horticultural decoration. Newbury Town Council may recover the cost of removal of these items from the holder of The Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial to that grave, in accordance with the powers and procedures set out in Article 14 of The Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977.
Repairs to Graves and Monuments etc
The owners must keep all monuments, gravestones, tablets, kerbs or other memorials in repair. All repairs and reinstallations must be in accordance with current NAMM recommendations. In the event of any such monument etc., becoming dangerous, defective or illegible from want of repair or neglect, Newbury Town Council may, in accordance with the powers and procedures set out in Article 16(2) and Schedule 3 of the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977, give notice to the owner or owners, requiring them to repair or remove any such monument etc., and if, after the expiration of such notice, the owner or owners have failed to repair or remove any such defective or dangerous monument etc., or if Newbury Town Council is unable to trace the owner(s) after taking such reasonable steps as it may consider necessary for that purpose, then Newbury Town Council may remove the same without any rights of the owner or owners to any compensation for so doing.
An ongoing process of memorial safety testing is in operation, as defined in the separate Memorial Safety Policy available from the Cemetery Office or the Town Hall.
The surplus soil excavated from any grave or vault is to be deposited on such part of the Cemetery as Newbury Town Council may determine.
If any damage is done to Newbury Town Council's land or premises by bringing in any materials, gravestones, or monument or from any other cause, the person or persons doing such damage will be held responsible for the same and Newbury Town Council may recover the cost of repairing such damage from such person or persons and in addition take proceedings under Article 18 of the Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977.
Workmen not admitted on Saturdays, Sundays etc
No workman employed in fixing, painting or restoring monuments or gravestones will be admitted or materials received into the Cemetery on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, Good Friday, Bank Holidays or on any other day before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Depth of Private Graves
No private grave will be made deeper than 7ft (2.13 meters) but Newbury Town Council, if they find it impracticable (owing to drainage or other cause) to dig so deep as 7ft (2.13 meters) in any particular grave space, reserve the right to specify the maximum depth which can be dug. All coffins or other receptacles shall be buried in accordance with the requirements of Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the Local Authorities’ Order 1977. A 7ft (2.13 meters) grave allows two earth burials. in addition, up to six sets of cremated remains are permitted per full burial plot.
Plots for cremated remains are excavated to a depth of 18 inches (0.46 meters). Up to two sets of cremated remains are permitted per cremated remains plot.
Grave Number on Monuments
The identification number of a grave must be cut at the foot of all monuments or gravestones so as to be visible when erected. All memorials must comply with current NAMM recommendations.
Visitors to the Cemetery are asked to conduct themselves in such a way as to respect the privacy of other visitors in order that a quiet and peaceful environment may be maintained for the benefit of all.
Dogs must be kept on leads when within the cemetery and any clearing up required is responsibility of the handler.
The planting of plants, shrubs and trees (however small) is not permitted.
Broken or damaged wreaths, ornaments or memorials shall be deemed litter and not allowed to remain on any grave in the cemetery. Newbury Town Council shall be at liberty to remove the same if the owner fails to do so. All dead floral tributes will be removed from graves at Newbury Town Council's discretion if the owner first fails to do so.
Special Christmas tributes are removed at a set time after Christmas, on the date as posted on a separate notice at the Cemetery.
No gratuities shall be demanded by any officer or servant of Newbury Town Council
As soon as convenient after the interment of a body or cremated remains Newbury Town Council shall sow grass seed or lay turf at its own expense over the whole of the grave. Thereafter no person other than the duly authorised officers or servants of Newbury Town Council shall interfere with or alter the turfed or unturfed areas of the grave except for the purpose of a further interment therein.
Newbury Town Council shall keep the turfed areas mown at its own expense, but will not undertake to keep clean or maintain memorials, which matter shall be the responsibility of the owner.
No flat stones laid horizontally, nor memorials, metal vases, chippings, railings, fencing, kerbs or other structures enclosing graves, other than headstones are permitted in lawn sections of the cemetery. In particular, the erection of decorative borders is not permitted.(Please contact Newbury Town Council if in any doubt)
A wooden memorial may be erected over any grave to which Exclusive Right of Burial has been purchased and prior consent has been given by Newbury Town Council. Newbury Town Council will remove any wooden memorial for which prior consent has been obtained. such wooden memorials shall be of hardwood or good quality softwood. the surfaces shall be dressed to a smooth finish. Any inscription on the memorial shall be properly carved into the face of the memorial or by means of an inscribed brass plate affixed to the face of the memorial.
There was a previous limit in place of six months for a wooden memorial. That limit is now removed, but rule (12) now also applies to wooden memorials.
The playing of ball, or any other games or sport within the cemetery is strictly prohibited, in accordance with Article 18 (1) (e) of The Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977.
Newbury Town Council by virtue of its powers under the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 adopted the foregoing Rules and Regulations.
These Rules and regulations will be applied and enforced by the cemetery staff under the guidance of the cemeteries officer based at the Town Hall, with the support of Management and Members of Newbury Town Council.
Chief Executive Officer
Dated: 25 January 2007