Cemetery regulations

We have regulations to maintain proper management, regulation and control of our cemeteries. The regulations provide information on:

  • the cemetery office
  • opening hours
  • internment
  • memorials
  • maintenance of graves
  • special conditions
  • conduct within our cemeteries

Part 1: General

1.0 Terms used in these regulations



Burial authority

the council

Cemeteries office

the administration department of the council that is responsible for day-to-day management of the Cemeteries

Grant holder

the owner(s) of an exclusive right of burial

Approved contractors

contractors who are employed by The council or any other third party who satisfy the criteria as set out

Exclusive right of burial

a right that may be purchased from The council which grants the purchaser, and his or her successors, the exclusive right of burial in a designated burial plot

2.0 Administration

2.1 All enquiries regarding the Cemeteries should be directed to the Cemeteries Office at: Planning and Environmental Services, Deene House, New Post Office Square, Corby, NN17 1GD

2.2 The Cemeteries Office is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday with the exception of Bank Holidays and other Public Holidays.

3.0 Opening hours

3.1 Cemeteries are open to the public every day from 8am and close around dusk. Subsequently closure is different through the year as follows:

  • December to January 4pm
  • February 4:30pm
  • March 5:30pm
  • April 6:30pm
  • May 8pm
  • June to August 8:30pm
  • September 7:30pm
  • October 6pm
  • November 4:30pm

Part 2: Exclusive right of burial

4.0 Purchase and registration of an Exclusive Right of Burial

4.1 An application to purchase an Exclusive Right of Burial shall be made on an application form, which is obtainable from the Cemeteries Office. For the purposes of any such application, the applicant shall:

  • deliver to the council such documents and other information in writing as we may require
  • pay the prescribed fee as set out in the table of fees and charges

4.2 The purchaser of an Exclusive Right of Burial will:

  • have their details entered into a register that will be maintained for this purpose by the council
  • be issued with a Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial from the council as proof of their ownership of the Exclusive Right of Burial

4.3 It is the responsibility of the Grant Holder to notify the council of any change of name or address.

5.0 Grave selection

5.1 When applying for an Exclusive Right of Burial an applicant’s grave selection shall be subject to the council’s approval. However, the council shall meet the wishes of the applicant as far as practicable.

6. Transfer of an Exclusive Right of Burial

6.1 A Grant Holder may transfer their right subject to:

  • the Grant Holder completing a Form of Assignment (obtainable from the Cemeteries Office) notifying the council of the transfer
  • payment of any prescribed fee as set out in the Table of Fees and Charges

6.2 Exclusive Rights of Burial can be assigned or passed on to another person on the production of the Burial Deed or other appropriate evidence from the person owing those rights.

Part 3: Interment 

7. Notice of interment

7.1 Notice of a proposed burial must be given to the council by completing a Notice of Interment form (obtainable from the Cemeteries Office) as early as possible. In any event not less than 2 working days, prior to the Interment. 

7.2 The 2 working days’ notice can be reduced on request in order to comply with the customary or religious practice of any community group. Details for arranging such burials are available on request from the Cemeteries Office.

7.3 All burials must take place between 9am and 2pm.

8. Burial authority authorisation

8.1 Upon receipt of a completed Notice of Interment form, the council must authorise the proposed burial before any funeral arrangements is publicly announced.

9. Grave location

9.1 Unless the deceased is to be interred pursuant to an Exclusive Right of Burial, the Burial Authority shall specify the grave location.

10. Proof of Exclusive Right of Burial

10.1 If the deceased is to be interred pursuant to an Exclusive Right of Burial, the Grant Holder must prove their identity to the council as the Grant Holder of that Exclusive Right of Burial before the interment can take place.

11. Grave dimensions

11.1 To ensure Health and Safety requirements are complied with, the council reserves the right to determine the maximum depth of a grave depending upon the location within the Cemetery and the soil conditions.

11.2 Only Approved Contractors may be used to dig graves.

12. Burial register

12.1 The relevant certificate(s) for the Interment of the body issued by the Registrar and the Coroner shall be produced to an officer of the council prior to interment so an entry can be made in the burial register. Failure to produce the relevant certificate(s) will result in the Interment being delayed until such certificate(s) is produced.

13. Temporary removal of memorials

13.1 The Grant Holder is responsible for the removal and re-fixing of a memorial in connection with a burial and may only use a Registered Memorial Mason for this purpose. Memorials re[1]fixed following interment must be installed in accordance with the current version of the National Association of Memorial Mason’s Recommended Code of Working Practice.

Part 4: Memorials 

14. Memorial application

14.1 The Grant Holder must complete an application form (obtainable from the Cemeteries Office), and receive written authorisation from the council, before any memorial may be erected in a Cemetery or inscription placed on a memorial.

14.2.1 The council reserves the right to remove any memorials not authorised by the council. If the council considers the item to be dangerous to cemetery users, under health and safety requirements this will be removed immediately, if not after 21 days’ notice.

14.2.1 Removed unauthorised memorials will be kept for 60 days for collection. If not collected within this time they will be disposed of.

15. Memorial dimensions 

15.1 Memorials at the Shire Lodge Cemetery must not exceed the following maximum dimensions:

15.2 Traditional lawn type memorial:

  • headstone - height of 762mm (30 inches), width of 610mm 24 (inches) and depth of 102mm (4 inches) 
  • base - height of 102mm (4 inches), width of 838mm (33 inches) and length of 381mm (15 inches)

15.3 Traditional kerb type memorial:

  • headstone - height of 914mm (36 inches), width of 914mm (36 inches) and depth of 102mm (4 inches)
  • kerbs - height of 52mm (6 inches) and width of 102mm (4 inches)
  • kerb space - length of 2133mm (84 inches) and width of 914mm (36 inches)
  • posts - height of 203mm (8 inches)

15.4 Cremation lawn type memorial:

  • headstone - height of 533mm (21 inches), width of 305mm (12 inches) and depth of 51mm (2 inches)
  • base - height of 76mm (3 inches), width of 457mm (18 inches) and length of 305mm (12 inches)

15.5 Cremation lawn type memorial with kerbs:

  • headstone - height of 533mm (21 inches), width of 305mm (12 inches) and depth of 51mm (2 inches)
  • base - height of 76mm (3 inches), width of 406mm (18 inches) and depth of 305mm (12 inches)
  • kerbs - height of 76mm (3 inches) and width of 76mm (3 inches)
  • kerb space - length of 508mm (20 inches) and width of 457mm (18 inches)

15.6 Due to the nature of the layout in some traditional sections of the cemeteries, it may not always be possible to accommodate maximum sized Kerb set. Suitability of size and positioning will be at the discretion of the council.

16. Erection of memorial

16.1 The erection of a memorial will be permitted only where:

  • an Exclusive Rights of Burial exists
  • the written permission of the council has been granted
  • payment of the prescribed fee as specified in the Table of Fees and Charges has been made to the council
  • an application is received from and signed by the owner of the exclusive right of burial. (Where the owner is deceased a transfer of ownership must be completed before any memorial work is permitted)

16.2.1 All memorials, including the fixing and refurbishment of memorials, must be constructed and erected in strict accordance with the size and design, approved by a registered Memorial Mason and in strict accordance with the National Association of Memorial Masons

16.2.2 Code of Working Practice: 

  • prepared ready for fixing before being taken into the Cemetery
  • erected using an appropriate foundation which where possible, must not be visible above the ground and which must be to the satisfaction of the council
  • secured into the ground using a fixing system that has been approved by the burial authority. In the case of a lawn memorial this should include a ground anchor


  • fixed in line with adjoining memorials
  • memorials may be fixed or erected on any working day during normal working hours (8am to 3pm) excepting Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
  • in the case of any departure from the approved design for which permission has been granted, the Grant Holder shall at their own expense, and to the satisfaction of the Burial Authority, carry out any work necessary to make the memorial comply with the approved design

17. Memorial Mason’s conduct in Cemeteries

17.1 While carrying out work within the Cemetery, all Registered Memorial Masons shall ensure they:

  • take all necessary precautions to protect the grass, trees, plants, walls, paths and adjacent memorials or vaults from damage. Any damage caused shall be made good at the Memorial Masons expense
  • completely remove all materials, tools and rubbish from the Cemetery when work is not in progress

18. Memorial construction

18.1 All memorials must be able to bear continuous exposure to the weather and must not be made of the following materials:

  • artificial stone
  • concrete
  • terra cotta
  • porcelain
  • plastic
  • glass
  • polystyrene
  • any other material which in the opinion of the council is unsuitable or incongruous with its surroundings.

18.2 Where provided pictures, photographs and engravings of the deceased must not exceed 150mm square in size.

19. Memorial identification

19.1 The section, grave number, and the memorial mason’s name must be clearly but discreetly inscribed on the memorial base. This includes memorials that are removed for a second inscription or refurbishment.

20. Inscriptions

20.1 Where an inscription has been cut without the prior approval of the council the Grant Holder must, at their expense, remove the memorial and apply for the council’s approval.

21. Unsafe and neglected memorials

21.1 The Grant Holder shall maintain their memorial in a safe condition, of which the Burial Authority shall be the sole judge. The authority reserves the right to periodically inspect and test memorials for stability and take actions considered appropriate in order to protect public safety.

21.2 The council reserves the right to notify in writing any Grant Holder if in their belief a memorial is considered unsafe. If the Grant Holder does not comply with the notice the Burial Authority shall be entitled, at the Grant Holder’s expense, to revert the memorial back to a safe condition.

22.2 Grave maintenance

22.3The council reserves the right to clear and re-instate any grave following the:

  • planting of any unsuitable gardens, trees or shrubs
  • placing of any grave furniture that is a risk to public safety; impedes the maintenance of the cemetery or is incongruous with its surroundings
  • placing of any unauthorised grave surrounds.

23. Loss or damage

23.1 Memorials are placed at the Grant Holder’s own risk. The council is not responsible for loss or damage done to any grave space or memorial or injury to any person within the Cemetery, except where such damage is directly attributable to the negligence of the Burial Authority or its employees or contractors. Grave owners are advised to obtain insurance cover for their memorials.

24. Removal of memorials

24.1 No memorial, or part of a memorial, shall be removed from a grave without written approval of the council.

2 4.2 The council’s approval of a proposed burial shall be considered consent to temporarily remove a memorial from the grave to be opened.

25. Hours of work

25.1 Except with the written consent of the council, all works in connection with the erection or restoration of memorials must be carried out between 8am to 3pm during daylight hours.

26. Memorial wreaths

26.1 The council, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to remove memorial wreaths placed upon a grave after an appropriate interval following their placement.

Part 5: Special conditions 

27. Rockingham road cemetery

  • unless the exclusive right of burial has been purchased, the only permitted memorial will be a vase no higher than 18 inches (460mm)
  • in the case of an urn plot, the only permitted memorial will be a vase no higher than 9 inches (230mm)
  • vases must be placed no more than 3ft 3 ins (1000mm) from the head of the grave
  • in the case of a private grave, no headstone should extend higher than 4ft 3 ins (1300mm) above the normal level of the surrounding ground, nor be wider than 3ft 3 ins (1000mm) or thicker than 12 ins (305mm)
  • whether or not an exclusive right of burial has been granted, no horizontal memorial may be placed on the grave beyond the lines identified on the plans of the burial ground as the “limit of horizontal monuments”
  • no trees, shrubs, plants or flowers more than 3ft 3 ins (1000mm) tall may be planted, placed or grown on any grave or vault, and the council reserves the right to cut, lop or remove such plants as necessary

28. Shire Lodge Cemetery

  • the area of the plot and grave can be personalised by means of planting directly into the ground or by means of plants grown in pots where the pot is no more than 6 inches high above ground level
  • graves may be edged by means of fencing, coping, kerbing or railings so long as the maximum height of such structure does not exceed 6 inches above ground level and the external length and breadth does not exceed the plot size
  • where a grave is edged by a solid kerb etc it will be permissible to cover the plot with chippings. This type of covering is not allowed where chippings are not completely contained e.g. by open railings
  • no plants used to personalise a grave shall be allowed to grow in excess of 24 inches in height from ground level
  • no artificial flowers or wreaths etc shall be allowed to permanently remain on a grave as only natural planting is allowed to personalise a grave
  • memorials erected in the cemetery must be erected vertically, in line with the headstones of adjoining graves, in a position at the head of the grave as prescribed by the council
  • as soon as convenient after a burial the council will level the whole area of the grave and seed or turf the plot where it has not been personalised
  • the level of any grave surface shall not be built up so as to raise it above the normal ground level around it
  • the council will maintain the whole of the grassed area and will plant and maintain, as appropriate, trees, shrubs and plants
  • the council may remove any plants, shrubs, wreaths, jars, vases or any other objects placed on graves not in accordance with these regulations

Part 6: Conduct within cemeteries 

29. Maintenance of graves

  • Where a grave is personalised it is the individual’s responsibility to properly maintain it, including the cutting of grass and weeding within any edging and immediately around the outside of the edging to every boundary, to the edge of adjoining graves where such boundary exists
  • Where, in the council’s opinion, a personalised grave is not maintained then notice will be given to remedy the situation within 28 days. in the event that a grant holder cannot be contacted, a discreet notice will be placed on the grave asking that works be undertaken within 28 days of the date of that notice.
  • In the event of no action being taken the council will act to maintain the grave in the most cost effective manner, which will usually be returning it to a grassed condition, removing all items of personalisation. No attempt will be made to keep any plants alive that are removed and such will be disposed of immediately, any memorials, edgings etc removed will be kept for a further period of 28 days prior to disposal at the Burial Authorities discretion.
  • Flowers and wreaths etc will be allowed to remain on a grave for up to 4 weeks after a burial. If after that time there has been no obvious sign of personalisation of a grave then such items will be removed by the council. Therefore, anything to be kept for sentimental or financial reasons should be reclaimed from the grave within 4 weeks of a funeral. Wreaths etc placed on graves at Christmas time will be left until the first week in February with the same conditions regarding removal applying as in the above item.
  • All material suitable for composting e.g. floral, plant remains should be placed in the green wheeled bins, where provided, located throughout the cemetery. All other waste material should be placed in the small black bins located next to the green receptacles.

30. Responsibility for injury or damage

30.1 Responsibility for any injury or damage caused in the cemetery as a result of work done in erecting, repairing, altering or removing any memorial will be borne by the person carrying out the work or on whose behalf the work is done.

31. Vehicles

31.1 vehicles are permitted in the cemetery only during opening hours and at the absolute discretion of the cemetery staff

31.2 any vehicles, including bicycles, entering the cemetery must:

  • keep within any speed limits of 5mph
  • be driven with due care and attention
  • comply with all directional signs
  • comply with all Burial Authority employees’ directions
  • not use the Cemetery as a thoroughfare
  • not be taken onto grassed areas

(3) The council shall not be held responsible for any damage to vehicles or other property left within the cemetery.

32. Conduct within cemetery grounds

32.1 No person while in Cemetery grounds shall:

  • wilfully create any disturbance
  • commit any nuisance
  • wilfully interfere with any burial taking place
  • wilfully interfere with any grave memorial, or any flowers or plants
  • play at any game or sport
  • ride any bicycles, skate boards or similar

32.2 Children under 12 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

32.3 The council, at its absolute discretion, reserves the right to ask any person to leave a Cemetery.

32.4 No person shall enter or remain in the Cemeteries except during opening hours.

33. Dogs

33.1 Dog owners shall ensure:

  • their dog is kept on a lead and restrained from straying off paths and drives
  • their dog does not interfere with, or disturb, any other person in the Cemetery
  • all faeces excreted by their dog are removed from the cemetery in an appropriate manner (failure to do so will lead to prosecution under the Dog Fouling of Land Act 1996)

Part 7: Reserved rights of the council 

34. Differences or disputes

34.1 Should any difference or dispute arise as to the real intent, meaning or interpretation of these Regulations, or Table of Fees and Charges, the decision of the Head of Planning and Environmental Services as the designated representative of the council shall be final.

35. Alterations to regulations

35.1 The council reserve the right to amend any of the foregoing regulations and to deal with any circumstances or contingency not provided for in the regulations as necessary.

36. Rights

36.1 The council as the council have in pursuance of their General Powers of Management contained in Article 3 (1) of the Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order 1977, made the Cemetery Rules and Regulations. These rules and regulations are to be observed in the cemeteries under the management and control of the council.

If you wish to have a copy of the regulations you can request this directly by contacting the Bereavement team

Last updated 16 May 2023