Memorials on graves
If you wish to arrange for a memorial to be placed on a grave you will need to submit a memorial permit application. This will need to be signed by the grave owner.
Applications will be checked to ensure the proposed dimensions of the memorial are within our regulations (see below) and the memorial mason is registered with either the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) or the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM), as well as being registered with Adur and Worthing Councils to undertake work in our cemeteries.
Once a permit is issued and the mason has completed the work, we will check to ensure the memorial is fixed on the correct grave in a satisfactory manner.
You also need to apply for a memorial permit if you would like an existing memorial to be refurbished or cleaned by a mason, although no permit fee will be charged.
Apply for a memorial permit
Application for a permit to place or adjust a memorial:
- Memorial Permit Application - Durrington, Lancing & Sompting, Mill Lane and Southwick Cemeteries (115KB)
- Memorial Permit Application - St Nicolas Churchyard (105KB)
A fee is charged to place a new memorial on a grave, add additional inscriptions to an existing memorial or for a replacement memorial. These fees, which vary according to the type of memorial and grave, help to pay for the inspections of the memorials that we are required to carry out periodically.
For information on current fees, please see:
Responsibility for a memorial
Grave owners are responsible for the care of a grave and its memorial. Any memorial not kept in good repair may be repaired or removed by Bereavement Services at the owner's expense.
While we undertake regular memorial safety checks, by placing a memorial in the cemetery you are accepting the following responsibilities:
- the memorial remains the property of its owner/s and does not become the property of the Councils at any time
- you are required to maintain your memorial to a safe condition, which may include regular maintenance and repairs being carried out by an approved mason. You may also consider taking out memorial insurance cover
- as the landowner we are obliged to ensure cemetery grounds remain safe places for the public; all memorials over 500mm high are tested and any memorial not meeting industry agreed standards will be reinstated by a mason, at the expense of the grave owner
- for safety reasons, all memorials over 500mm in height and any older memorial that fails the safety test will be required to be refixed using the ground anchor system
- all memorial work carried out should come with a Certificate of Conformity from the memorial mason, which should ensure that the memorial will not fail any future safety tests
Memorials on lawn area graves
Only headstones are permitted in these sections. Please do not plant trees or shrubs, or put up fences or surrounds on graves in the lawn areas, as they may have to be removed.
Permitted size of memorials
Depending on the type of grave, there is a maximum size permitted for the memorial.
For more information please see:
There are specific rules with regard to the types of adornments that may be placed on a grave. If a temporary memorial is considered to be excessive or detrimental to the maintenance of the cemetery, you may be asked to remove it. For advice on what constitutes a temporary memorial, please contact the Bereavement Services.
Wording on memorials
The wording on memorials must not be offensive or breach copyright, and must relate to the person or persons interred in the grave.
It is possible to commemorate someone not interred in a grave or cremation plot. However, you should make reference to where the deceased is buried or where the ashes have been scattered. For further guidance please contact Bereavement Services.
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Page last updated: 09 August 2022