Cemetery Rules and Regulations
In these rules and regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, the word:
"The Council" means the Birmingham City Council.
"Cemetery" means any one of the Cemeteries under the control of the said Council and situated at Brandwood End, Handsworth, Key Hill, Kings Norton, Lodge Hill, Quinton, Sutton Coldfield, Sutton New Hall, Warstone Lane, Witton and Yardley.
"Superintendent" means the Superintendent at any one of these cemeteries.
Read the 1977 Local Authorities' Cemeteries Order for more detailed information.
1. The Cemeteries will be open to visitors:
Saturdays, Sunday and Public Holidays
February, March, April,
May, June, July, August,
Special times for opening and closing apply on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
2. Each Cemetery Office is open for public business from 08.30 hours. to 16.30 hours. each day, Monday to Friday other than specified holidays, which include Good Friday, Christmas Day, Easter, Spring etc.
Cemetery Gates are closed at 16.00 hours in the winter. (See 1).
3. When making funeral arrangements two clear days notice must be given to the relevant Cemetery Superintendent for interment in an earthen grave and four clear days for interment in a brick grave requiring construction. These days notice must exclude the day of interment and exclude Saturday, Sunday and specified holidays which include Good Friday, Christmas Day, Easter, Spring etc.
See also reference to Extended Hours Service. (See 4 below).
4. Extended Hours Service - A service is provided at Handsworth Cemetery only, which will allow urgent funerals outside normal opening hours at weekends and Bank Holidays but not Christmas Day. This service can be accessed by dialling a standby system on Mobile Telephone Number 07766 925484.
5. Interments must take place between 09.00 hours and 16.00 hours each day Monday to Friday, the last burial is 15.00 hours in the Summer months and 14.30 hours in the Winter months, and are not permitted on Saturdays, Sundays and specified holidays which include Good Friday, Christmas Day, Easter, Spring etc.
See also reference to Extended Hours Service. (See 4 above).
6. Notice of interment must be confirmed to the relevant Cemetery Superintendent on the specially printed form prescribed by the City Council. In the event that a large number of persons are expected to attend the funeral every effort should be made to notify the relevant Cemetery Superintendent so that appropriate arrangements may be made.
7. The selection of sites for both public and private graves shall be determined at the discretion of the Superintendent.
8. No body shall be buried or cremated remains interred or scattered, in or over any grave, walled grave or vault in which an exclusive right of burial for the time being subsists, except with the consent in writing of the owner of the right. For every opening of a private grave the certificate of ownership must also be produced and given to the relevant Cemetery Superintendent on giving notice of burial. If the certificate is lost or mislaid a grave will be opened only on the receipt of a completed form of declaration and indemnity which has to be sworn before a Solicitor, J.P. or Commissioner for Oaths. The application forms are obtainable from the Cemetery Superintendent.
9. Relatives or others unable to arrange for their own Minister to officiate must inform the Cemetery Office not later than 10.00 hours 2 days before the day of the proposed service.
10. Full settlement of all fees and charges in respect of burial must be made payable to Birmingham City Council and sent to the Finance Department, Revenues, Lancaster Circus, Birmingham, B4 7DQ, within seven days upon receipt of invoices.
11. The appropriate certificate for disposal issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths or the Coroners Order for burial shall be submitted to the Cemetery Office prior to the day of the funeral with the confirmation of burial details or given to the Cemetery Superintendent as the funeral cortege enters the Cemetery. A certificate issued by the appropriate Cremation Authority will be required prior to the disposal of cremated remains.
12. Funeral corteges and all persons entering a Cemetery shall be required to follow directions issued by the Superintendent or nominated deputy.
13. If a funeral is late the service will take place as soon as possible after the appointed time at the discretion of the Superintendent. A fee will be levied as detailed in the Table of Fees and Charges.
14. Traditional wooden coffins or ecologically friendly coffins only shall be used in all graves and must bear a name plate establishing the identity of the body contained therein
15. Shrubs, plants or flowers must not be taken out of the Cemetery without the consent of the Superintendent. Before any planting takes place on graves the permission of the Superintendent must be obtained. Plants when fully grown must not exceed 2 ft (60.96 cm) in height in order to prevent damage to memorials or injury to passers by. The right is reserved to prune, cut down or remove any shrubs, plants, flowers or wreaths that have become unsightly or overgrown. Before removing / cutting down any flowers / trees / shrubs etc. which do not satisfy these Regulations the grave owner will be advised sensitively of their responsibilities.
16. All dead flowers and wreaths, garden refuse or litter must be conveyed to the nearest wastebasket.
17. Subject to Regulations 23 and 28, flower containers may be placed on private graves without a fee provided they are not made of glass, bear no personal inscription and do not exceed 12" (30.48 cm) in height and 9" (22.86 cm) in thickness and do not exceed the width of any memorial as specified in the Regulations for the specific memorial types. There is no restriction on the colour for containers provided they are in accordance with the dignity of the Cemetery.
18. No article placed upon a grave may be taken from the Cemetery without the Superintendents permission.
19. Memorials are not permitted on public graves but may be erected on private graves providing they comply with these Regulations. Notice must be given before removing a memorial or carrying out any work in connection therewith. The Council may remove memorials from private graves when the period of right of burial has expired following consultation with the bereaved.
20. Drawings and specifications of all memorials or alterations thereto and any inscription thereon shall be submitted for approval to the Cemetery Office in duplicate on the prescribed form. On approval a Grant of Memorial Right will be issued. Responsibility for the safety and upkeep of memorials rests with the owner of the burial rights; the Burial Authority can accept no responsibility for damage to memorials.
21. Memorials and vases of quarried material shall have the number of the grave space cut conspicuously thereon in a position approved by the Superintendent the expense thereof being borne by the applicant. Trade inscriptions other than the supplier's name and district will not be permitted. Subject to the permission of the Superintendent, photographs of the deceased may be affixed to memorials provided that such photographs are of an approved material, do not exceed an overall size of 6" x 4" (15.24 cm x 10.16 cm), and are limited to one per interment in the grave.
22. Permanent memorials must be made of best quarried materials except on Lawn type sections where approved integral statues may be made of either best quarried materials or good quality, hardwearing, reconstituted stone which may be painted in approved colours. Limited use of etched and enamelled ornamentation will be accepted subject to the approval of the Superintendent. All dowels shall be in accordance with the specification detailed in the National Association of Memorial Masons Code of Working Practice. Portland, Caen, Bath or other free stone and soft York stone must not be used. Permanent memorials may not be of wood or metals. Foundation bases could be of either best-quarried materials or reinforced concrete conforming to BS 7263.
(a) For the first twenty four months immediately following an interment, a temporary wooden memorial may be erected.
(b) The dimensions of the wooden cross or other religious emblem shall not exceed 3' (91.44 cm) in height above ground level and 2'3" (68.58 cm) in width and not exceed 4" (10.16 cm) in thickness.
(c) At the end of the twenty four month period following an interment, the owner of the Grant of Exclusive Right of Burial must remove and dispose of the temporary memorial and reinstate the surface of the grave to the satisfaction of the Superintendent. If the memorial is not so removed it will be disposed of by the Cemetery staff at the expiration of this period following consultation with relatives.
(d) Wind chimes will not be permitted in any Cemetery.
(e) Windmills will be permitted on graves with the proviso that they are treated as for temporary memorials being removed after twenty four months immediately following interment or if they are broken or damaged.
23. A vase of quarried material bearing a personal inscription shall be regarded as a memorial and is subject to the fees payable under the Table of Fees and Charges.
24. All new memorials and where practicable re-fixed memorials are to be fixed in the Cemetery in accordance with the Code of Working Practice from the National Association of Memorial Masons.
Memorials on Traditional Type Sections are subject to the following dimensions and conditions: -
Not exceeding 2'6" (76.20 cm) in height shall not be less than 2" (5.08 cm) in thickness.
Exceeding 2'6" (76.20 cm) in height shall not be less than 3" (7.62 cm) in thickness.
Without kerbing shall not exceed 2'6" (76.20 cm) in width.
Shall where practicable be fixed onto a suitable one-piece foundation as detailed in the National Association of Memorial Masons Code of Working Practice.
Must be fixed to the foundation using an approved ground support system (as detailed in the National Association of Memorial Masons Code of Working Practice) or dowelled into the foundation slab using the specification of dowels as laid down in the above mentioned Code of Working Practice.
Must not rest on top of kerbing.
Kerbing shall not be less than 6" x 3" (15.24 cm x 7.62 cm).
Posts and Footstones must not exceed 10" (25.40 cm) in height.
Vases shall not exceed 18" (45.72 cm) in height, 12" (30.48 cm) in width and 12" (30.48 cm) in thickness including base.
Foundation slabs shall be at least 3" (7.62 cm) below the level of the surrounding ground.
Memorials exceeding 6'6" (198.12 cm) in height or 20cwt(1.016 tonnes) in weight must rest on a brick foundation which shall conform to BS 3921: 1985 and be of appropriate durability designation in accordance with the principles of BS 5628 Part III amended 1985 Table 13 and be constructed to the full depth of the grave.
Chippings of quarried material may be placed inside kerbing provided they rest on stone or pre-cast concrete slabs not less than 2" (5.08 cm) thick.
Area enclosed for each space shall be of the total uniform length of 6'6" (198.12 cm) and in width 3'0" (91.44 cm).
Metal or plastic railings or palisading will not be allowed around any grave.
25. No grave mound, kerbing or other surround will be permitted in any section of a Cemetery declared to be a "Lawn Section" and grave spaces will be turfed at ground level as soon as possible after an interment.
26. All new memorials and where practicable re-fixed memorials are to be fixed in the Cemetery in accordance with the Code of Working Practice from the National Association of Memorial Masons.
Memorials in Type "A" Lawn Sections shall consist of headstones only and: -
(a) be without bases.
(b) not exceed 3'0" (91.44 cm) in height above ground level.
(c) be of uniform width of 2'3" (68.58 cm) and not less than 3" (7.62 cm) nor more than 6" (15.24 cm) in thickness.
Memorials as detailed in Section 27 will be permitted in type "A" Lawn Sections.
27. All new memorials and where practicable re-fixed memorials are to be fixed in the Cemetery in accordance with the Code of Working Practice from the National Association of Memorial Masons.
Memorials in Type "B" Lawn Sections shall consist of headstones only and shall:-
(a) not exceed 4'6" (137.16 cm) in height, 2'6" (76.20 cm) in width and 1'6" (45.72 cm) in thickness
(b) be not less than 2" (5.08 cm) in thickness, if not exceeding 2'6" (76.20 cm) in height or not less than 3" (7.62 cm) in thickness if over 2'6" (76.20 cm) in height
(c) not incorporate projecting ornaments, figures or like modifications
(d) be on foundation slabs 3'6" x 18" x 3" (106.68 cm x 45.72 cm x 7.62 cm) fixed not less than 3" (7.62 cm) below ground level
(e) be dowelled onto bases not less than 10" (25.40 cm) in width and 3" (7.62 cm) in thickness or directly onto the foundation slabs in accordance with the National Association of Memorial Masons Code of Working Practice.
(f) be fixed in accordance with the recommendations of the National Association of Memorial Masons regarding the use of approved ground support systems.
Memorials as detailed in Section 26 will be permitted in type B Lawn Sections.
28. In Lawn Sections Type "A" and "B" ground cultivation shall be restricted to a small garden measuring 18" (45.72 cm) from the front of the memorial no wider than the headstone. No planting is to take place behind the memorial headstone. Any ground cultivation must be laterally along the line of headstones to provide an uninterrupted area for mowing. Unless incorporated in the memorial, vases and flower containers must be limited to two per grave, be placed immediately in front or at the side of any headstone (or at the head of the grave if no headstone is erected), and must not exceed 12" (30.48 cm) in height, 9" (22.86 cm) in width and 9" (22.86 cm) in thickness including base. The vases must not exceed the garden area. No kerbing, plastic or wooden fencing or chippings will be permitted around a lawn grave.
29. All new memorials and where practicable re-fixed memorials are to be fixed in the Cemetery in accordance with the Code of Working Practice from the National Association of Memorial Masons.
Memorials in Type "C" Lawn Sections shall consist of horizontal tablets 2' (60.96 cm) long x 1' 3' (38.1 cm) wide and not less than 2' (5.08 cm) thick into which may be sunk a flower container. No other flower vessels are allowed and the cultivation of the grave space is not permitted.
(a) Memorials in Type "CA" Lawn Sections shall consist of horizontal tablets 1' 3' (38.1 cm) long, 12' (30.48 cm) wide and not less than 2' (5.08 cm) in thickness, fixed not less than 1' (2.54 cm) below ground level. A flower container only may be sunk into the tablet. No other flower vessels are allowed and ground cultivation is not permitted.
(b) A flower vessel in accordance with the Regulations will be permitted if there is
no memorial tablet provided.
30. Memorials will be permitted to span contiguous grave spaces where Exclusive Rights of Burial have been granted to the same person. All new memorials and where practicable re-fixed memorials are to be fixed in the cemetery in accordance with the Code of Working Practice from the National Association of Memorial Masons. In view of the varying Cemetery Sections and grave dimensions applicable, it will be necessary for each written application for a Grant of Memorial Right to be considered on an individual basis and compliance with other appropriate Regulations will be a requirement
31. The Council may from time to time make alterations to the foregoing Regulations, and any Right of interment in any grave will be subject to these Regulations, and any others that may be made by the Council or any other authority, and subject also to any present or future Statutory Regulations.
31.Memorials will be admitted into the Cemeteries during office hours, provided all fees have been paid. Twenty-four hours prior notice must be given before fixing any memorial. The Burial Authority reserves the right to remove a memorial if for any reason the prescribed fees have not been paid. The grave owner will be advised sensitively of their responsibilities.
32. Memorials or other objects moved by employees of the Council on the occasion of the re-opening of a grave will be moved and replaced at the risk of the owner.
33. No hewing or dressing of memorials will be permitted within the Cemeteries and all materials shall be conveyed into them in such a manner as will avoid annoyance to persons or damage to the grounds and walks. All refuse and materials shall be removed in like manner.
34. The Council may remove any memorial on a grave if it is dilapidated by long neglect and,
(a) Notice has been posted conspicuously at the Cemetery gates and in the vicinity of the tomb for two weeks.
(b) Notice has appeared in two consecutive local newspapers.
35. The permission of the Superintendent shall be obtained before any object in a Cemetery is photographed or a video recording is commenced.
36. Motor vehicles may enter a Cemetery only if an occupier is on Cemetery business. Vehicles must not exceed 5 M.P.H. and must not obstruct driveways and side walks.
37. Visitors shall keep to the drives and paths provided.
38. No child apparently under the age of 12 years will be admitted into a Cemetery unless under proper care.
39. No dogs except Guide Dogs for the visually and hearing impaired shall be permitted in a Cemetery.
40. No smoking shall be permitted in Cemeteries premises or within the vicinity of a funeral.
41. No person shall canvass or solicit orders in a Cemetery.
42. Musical instruments or appropriate sound reproducing equipment shall be permitted in a Cemetery with the permission of the Superintendent.
43. All Cemetery fees and charges shall be in accordance with the scales of fees and charges for the time being adopted by the Council.
44. Any Rules and Regulations previously in force in respect of the Cemeteries are hereby superseded.
The Council may from time to time make alterations to the foregoing Regulations, and any Right of interment in any grave will be subject to these Regulations, and any others that may be made by the Council or any other authority, and subject also to any present or future Statutory Regulations.