Notices go up following memorial testing

Bear Street Cemetery

Posted on: 12 December 2014

Notices are being displayed at two North Devon cemeteries where headstones have failed recent memorial safety testing.

North Devon Council began the checks at Bear Street cemetery in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe’s Marlborough Road cemetery in July. As a result, a total of 238 headstones failed the stability checks.

This week a small note has been placed in front of each of the unstable headstones. This is to make visitors aware of the results and to ask owners of those memorials to contact the council to discuss stability options.

Executive Member for parks and open spaces, Councillor Derrick Spear, says: “The memorial testing is important to ensure the safety of visitors to the cemeteries and to preserve the gravestones. The testing process was very discreet and our staff have been sensitive to the needs of families visiting graves and headstones. We now need to hear from the owners of the stones that didn’t pass the testing, so that we can work together to look at how best to address the issue.”

As well as displaying a note at the base of each unstable memorial, the council will try to contact known families of unstable headstones in the new year. A list of all unstable memorials will be available on the council’s webpage

For more information on the memorial testing, contact the Cemeteries Officer on 01271 345431 or email

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