Cemetery Regulations


The dignity and calm of the cemetery should be respected at all times.

Unattended children, together with such activities as ball games, riding bicycles and playing radios, are prohibited and dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

Opening Hours
The cemetery will be open for pedestrian access at all times. The Council reserves the right to make such closures as may be necessary for repairs, emergencies or in the interests of public safety at any time.

The chapel can be opened on request during normal working hours to provide shelter and a place for quiet contemplation for visitors to the cemetery.

Burial Register
The Town Council holds a register of all burials. Searches may be made but a charge will apply.

The hours of interment will be between 9.00 am and 3.30 pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00 am
to 3.00pm Fridays. No interment will normally take place at weekends or public holidays
although Saturday interments will be permitted in special circumstances. Due consideration will be given to religious requirements which may require alteration to the foregoing.

No interment shall take place and no cremated human remains shall be scattered without the permission of the Town Council. Notice of an interment must be given at least 2 working days prior to any interment to the Town Clerk.

Exclusive Right of Burial
The exclusive right of burial in a grave space may be purchased for a period of 99 years. Any grave space, for which exclusive right of burial has not been purchased, may be purchased by a member of the family there buried, on the terms mentioned in the list of fees.

All Double depth graves will automatically include a “Grant of Exclusive Right”.

Memorials and Inscriptions
No tombstone or other memorial shall be placed in the Cemetery, and no additional inscription shall be made on any memorial without permission of the Town Council.  Memorials must be installed in accordance with the current National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) Guidelines. Memorials are only permitted on graves where the Grant of Exclusive Rights of Burial has beenpurchased. The appropriate application form should be submitted to the Town Clerk with a plan showing the proposal. Applications for kerbstones and fencing will be considered by the Town Clerk taking into consideration neighbouring graves and future access requirements. If the request is considered to be unacceptable by the Town Clerk, then the request will be referred to the General Purposes Committee of Gillingham Town Council. To comply with health and safety regulations no glass vases or ornaments are permitted. No kerb surround will exceed 2’6 in width and the overall length of the memorial and kerb surround shall not exceed seven feet (762 mm x 2100 mm) and will be made of the same type of material as the headstone, under no circumstances whatsoever will a full grave sealing slab be allowed, although chippings may be used. The following are strictly NOT allowed: railings, footstones, chains or other structures enclosing graves or parts of graves, and will be removed from the grave by Town Council staff.

Headstones are not permitted on plots for the interment of ashes.

It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain his/her memorial in a good state of repair. In the event of any such memorial becoming dangerous, defective or illegible, the Town Council may, in accordance with the powers and procedures set out in Article 16(2) and Schedule 3 of the Local Authorities Cemetery Order 1977, give notice to the owner requiring him/her to repair or remove any such memorial. If, after the expiration of the notice, the owner has failed to repair or remove any such defective or dangerous memorial, or if the Council is unable to trace the owner* after taking such reasonable steps as it may consider necessary for that purpose, then the
Council will take appropriate action to make safe and tidy.

It is the responsibility of the owner to inform the Town Council of any change of address in order that contact can be maintained. Failure to do so may result in the Town Council removing a memorial if it fails a health and safety inspection.

Floral Tributes/Trees and Shrubs
Floral tributes will be removed when dead or unsightly at the discretion of the Grounds and Properties Manager. Artificial flowers are permitted but must be removed when faded. Graves will be tidied at the discretion of the Grounds and Properties Manager.

No tree or shrub shall be planted in, or removed from the Cemetery, without the express permission of the Town Clerk.

The Council reserves the right to prune, cut down or remove any easing shrubs, plants or trees at any time when, in the opinion of the Council, they have become unsightly or overgrown.

No seat or bench shall be placed in the Cemetery without the permission of the Town Council. Applications for authority to locate a seat or bench should be submitted to the Town Clerk.

To comply with health and safety regulations, seats may be placed in the Cemetery within designated areas and must not be moved without the permission of the Town Council.

Fees and Charges
All fees and charges must be paid to the Town Clerk of Gillingham Town Council at the time of giving notice of the interment/erection of memorial etc. cheques should be made payable to Gillingham Town Council. 

The fees and charges are reviewed on an annual basis and any changes recorded in the minutes for the meeting.  Copies of amended fees will be sent to each Funeral Director, following revision, and will also be displayed at the reception desk at the Town Hall and published on the Town Council’s Web Site.

Removal of Remains
Human remains shall not be removed, except by the Exhumation Order from the Department of the Environment, or other appropriate Statutory Authority.

Search of Burial Records
The Town Council is able to carry out searches of burial records and graves by appointment (charges may apply). To make an appointment please contact The Town Clerk, School Road, Gillingham SP8 4QR (Tel: 0147 823588) or email: GTC@gillinghamdorset-tc.gov.uk 

The Town Council cannot be held responsible for any damage to any memorial or any personal property taken into the Cemetery. The Town Council will not be liable for damage to any memorial in the Cemetery caused by storm, wind, subsidence or by any other cause. If any damage is caused to the 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 the 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.

The Town Council reserves the right to make alterations to the foregoing subject to due notice.

These regulations were formally adopted by Gillingham Town in October 2014