Last Updated: 3 April 2024

We give advice on how to choose and apply for a gravestone. As a grave owner you have responsibilities to maintain a grave so it is safe for all visitors and people working in the cemetery. We also run a scheme to help monumental masons establish a uniform standard of workmanship and working practices throughout all of our cemeteries.

Putting up a headstone

A natural stone memorial is an enduring commemoration. It's important to make a careful decision about the design material and manufacturer.

It is a good idea to look at the options first, perhaps by looking at existing memorials in the cemetery. There is no minimum time before you can place a memorial but it is best to give six months for the ground to settle.

Apart from encouraging the use of local slate (or very similar material) in the Lakes cemeteries, we try not to restrict design and material. Our Cemetery Regulations (PDF 422KB / 12 pages) give details on what you can and can't do.

To make sure headstones are safe we restrict the types of foundations and fixings used.

All memorials need to be fixed by a Monumental Mason registered with us. This ensures they are qualified and insured to be working within the cemeteries and that they keep to our regulations and to industry best practice.

Apply for a memorial

A Memorial Mason will guide you through the application process which includes confirming the rightful owner of the Exclusive Right of Burial, discussing your choices and completing the necessary forms.

The mason will submit the application and pay the relevant fee on your behalf. When we have checked the application, we will issue a permit for the mason to place the stone.

All memorials must have the grave number engraved visibly. When a memorial is taken in for additional work, the number must be added if it is not already present. All headstones must be fixed or re-fixed using a NAMM approved ground anchor system, identified by an asterisk (*) after the grave number. Every memorial must be installed to at least the standards of the current NAMM Code of Working Practice.

Cemetery fees and charges

Memorial application form (PDF 867KB / 2 pages)

If you require further information or advice you can contact us using the bereavement services enquiry form.

Responsibilities of memorial owners

If we identify a risk we have a responsibility under health and safety legislation to reduce that risk. This may involve removing items from the cemetery. 

Grave owners have to maintain the grave and ensure that it complies with our memorial regulations. Things that can be a hazard or cause an issue include:

  • glass flower holders or unsightly containers
  • glass cases or globes 
  • shrubs plants or flowers
  • no new kerbstones or grave surround or chippings

It is important that our record of grave owners is kept up to date. If you are a grave owner please let us know about any change of address.

Registered Monumental Masons

The memorial mason registration scheme aims to establish a uniform standard of workmanship and working practices in our cemeteries. We aim to identify and promote the best practice of the industry by all registered masons.

The scheme sets standards for:

  • the installation, repair and maintenance of memorials
  • insurance cover
  • health and safety and administrative requirements
Monumental Masons registered with the scheme
Business name Business address Telephone contact
A & J Robertson (Granite) Ltd, T/A Beattie Memorials Silvertrees Drive, Westhill, Aberdeen, AB32 6BH 01224 652 000
Able Memorials 1 Wildman Street, Kendal LA9 6EN 01539 735 583
Art of Stone (NE) Ltd Unit 2, Crawford Court, Cowpen Road, Blyth, Northumberland NE24 5SU 01670 458 386
Atkinson Memorials Unit A, The Lairage, North Lonsdale Terrace, Ulverston, LA12 9AU 01229 584 242
Chris's Memorial 1 Hawkshead Gardens, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 4LY 01229 431 842
Gordon Greaves Slate Ltd The Mill, Troutbeck Bridge, LA23 1HS 015394 46737
H & S Fishwick Monumental Masons Ltd. Unit 14K, Blackrod Industrial Estate, Scot Lane, Bolton BL6 5JL 01942 83176
Kenneth A. Fraser Ltd. 7 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QD 01524 65502
Little and Caine trading as Mossop Monumental Masons Ltd, Rogans Masonry Services Ltd 48 Ulverston Road, Dalton-in-Furness, LA15 8EF 01229 462 714 and 01229 822 358  
Parkin and Jackson 14 Appleby Road, Kendal, LA9 6ES 01539 722 838
Quality Headstones trading as RGR Memorials, W T Drage and Sons, Little Angels 4 World Farm Park, Broughton Road, Northampton, NN6 9RH 01604 780 045
Specialist Memorial Works 8 Howgill Houses, Burnside, Kendal, LA9 6QH 01539 737 744
W & A Todd Low Ghyll Farm, Kirkby-in-Furness LA17 7YB 01229 889 115

How to join the Monumental Registration Scheme

Before completing the application form, read the memorial mason registration scheme guidance notes.

Memorial Mason registration scheme and application form (PDF 289KB / 10 pages)

Memorial management

We have a duty of care under Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 with regard to the provision of safe places of work for members of staff and the extension of this duty to include the safety of members of the public and others visiting or working at their cemeteries. It also has a duty of care under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957, to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, their sites are maintained in a safe condition.

Our Management and Safety of Memorials Policy (PDF 208KB / 11 pages) sets out the actions we take in helping to keep our cemeteries safe places for people to visit. The purpose of this policy is to clearly outline to all stakeholders our responsibilities in ensuring safety of cemetery visitors and the actions we will take to deal with safety concerns identified during routine inspections. 

If you have received notification of an unsafe memorial for which you are the grave owner further information can be found below.

If you are concerned about the safety of a memorial in a cemetery or closed churchyard for which we are responsible please contact us: Provide as much detail as possible regarding the location, the names on the memorial and your concerns. We will then visit and assess the memorial as soon as possible.

Unsafe memorials

We understand it can be upsetting to find that a memorial placed for a loved one has become unsafe and that actions have been taken to make it safe. We aim to undertake all temporary repairs in the most discrete manner possible to limit the distress caused to families and visitors to the cemeteries.

If you have received a letter from us explaining the actions we have taken to make a memorial safe and you are the registered owner, we will be happy to talk through the options with you. Alternatively you may wish to speak with one of the Monumental Masons registered to work in our cemeteries who will be happy to provide advice and a quote for the works needed.

If a memorial you visit has had a notice placed or has had remedial action taken to it and you wish to discuss this, please contact bereavement services and we will try to assist you.