Visiting The Cemetery
Visitors are asked to familiarise themselves with these notes, 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 obstruct other cemetery users. cars are parked at the owner’s risk
- Please do not drive into prohibited areas or drive or park on grassed areas. Cars are only allowed on the two main paths; the one leading from the main gate and the one leading form Cromwell Road gate
- Public conveniences are situated next to the Cemetery Office, just inside the main gate
- Water, not suitable for drinking, can be found at the side of the conveniences and at the side of the chapel.
Visitors are requested to ensure that they leave the Cemetery punctually as the gates to the cemetery are secured at the defined time. From Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays and weekends) cemetery staff are available to help with any queries, during opening hours.
Last access time is 15 minutes before the declared closing time.
|Monday||9am till 5pm|
|Tuesday||9am till 5pm|
|Wednesday||9am till 7pm|
|Thursday||9am till 5pm|
|Friday||9am till 5pm|
|Saturday||10am till 5pm|
|Sunday||10am till 5pm|
|Bank Holidays||10am till 5pm|
|Christmas Day||10am 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 5.00pm, with the actual time posted in the Cemetery notice boards.
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 Newbury Town Council staff at the Town Hall 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 notice is required before a burial can take place.
- Burials can take place on weekdays only between the hours of 10am and 4pm (between 12noon and 4pm on Mondays and day immediately following a Bank Holiday). These hours will be shortened, at Newbury Town Council’s 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 Newbury Town Council, before an interment of any kind, including cremated remains, can be carried out.
- Unless an ‘Exclusive Right to Bury’ in a particular grave exists, a ‘Purchase of Grave Space’ form must be completed and the appropriate fee paid to Newbury Town Council.
- An Exclusive Right 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. Some restrictions may apply for effective cemetery management.
- A list of fees and charges relating to burials is available from the Town Hall.
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.
- There are occasions when adjacent graves may need to be re-opened for additional burials. In these cases mechanical access may be required over adjacent graves and the temporary spoil heap may spread over a number of graves. In a working cemetery this is unavoidable. Every effort is made to protect surrounding graves in these cases and to ensure their return to their previous state as soon as possible. The burial hours are set on a Monday (or the day after a Bank Holiday) so as to minimise the chance of such action over a weekend.
Interment of Cremated Remains The Council WILL permit
- A controlled form of scattering, by either “strewn” or “interred”, but not scattered, sprinkled or spread.
- Strewing is defined as the lifting of turf to allow the scattering of ashes onto the soil followed by the immediate replacement of the lifted turf.
- Preference remains for ashes to be interred in a suitable container. The rules already define the limits to be 2 per cremated remains space or 6 per burial space.
- Once strewn or interred, ashes must not be disturbed. A suitable container prevents disturbance. Therefore, once there has been one “strewing” in a particular space, there can be no further strewing or interment in that space.
- In all cases, strewing or interment of ashes must be accompanied by appropriate permissions, certificates, fees and forms as already defined within the rules.
- The Council will also permit the interment of ashes within the coffin of a relative when a full burial is taking place, with separate permissions, certificates, fees and forms as already defined within the rules.
What the Council will NOT permit
The Council will not permit the scattering of ashes on the surface of any grave spaces or within any other areas of Shaw Cemetery for the following reasons:
- It may cause distress or offence to other Cemetery users.
- Grounds maintenance machinery would not be able to operate on or around the area where the ashes were scattered, as they would disturb or remove the remains.
- Difficulties in ensuring legal record keeping.
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 safe standard that offends no one, as what pleases one may displease others:
- Glass, china or other easily breakable pots and bottles are highly dangerous, and are not permitted in the cemetery.
- The planting of plants, shrubs and trees (however small) or the erection of decorative borders is not permitted.
- Newbury Town 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). These recommendations are available to view at the Town Hall. 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.
- Non-Standard Memorials, which include benches, planting of a tree or shrub in a designated area with the Cemetery, and maintaining a garden area around the base of an existing Cemetery tree. Application forms must be completed before any Non-Standard Memorial can be placed or planted.
- Non-Standard Memorials that are gardens, or a garden area around the base of an existing Cemetery tree, must comply with the following regulation, which was approved by the Councils Community Services Committee Meeting of Monday, 18 March 2013, as follows:
- A garden area around the base of any designated tree or garden area incorporating a tree within the Cemetery must have a distance of 8 inches diameter from the base of the tree, where there is no soil to allow the tree to draw in oxygen at its base, which will help with its long term survival. The beds are to be no larger than 6 feet in diameter overall and shall be a single tier with a maximum height of 8 inches. (Sketches showing what is now permitted are overleaf.)
Non-Standard Memorials Guidance Sketches
These sketches are to be used as a guide, for what is permitted within the Cemetery, as the diameter of the tree bases will be different.
Please contact the Town Council if you have any queries and every effort will be made to assist you
Newbury Town Council will always make every effort to contact the grave owner, should any issue arise.
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.
Rules and Regulations
Rules and Regulations for the Management of Shaw Cemetery, Shaw Hill, Newbury
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 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.
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 or change 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 the 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 not 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.
Please see the table below for our current charges.