Guidance for Gravediggers and Monumental Masons

Guidance for Gravediggers and Monumental Masons



These rules and conditions were agreed by Paddock Wood Town Council on 22nd January 2024 and supersede all previous rules and conditions.

It is expected that all contractors working in Paddock Wood Cemetery will observe safe working practices and comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A copy of the contractors Public Liability Insurance must be produced on request.

No vehicles should remain in the Cemetery for longer than is reasonably necessary.

Work to be carried out in such a way as to not cause a disturbance or nuisance to visitors to the cemetery or any damage or interference to other grave spaces.

No work may take place during interments.



As gravediggers generally work alone the following rules must be observed whilst working on premises owned by the Town Council:

  1. The Cemetery Clerk to be notified of the date and approximate time that digging will take place.
  2. The Cemetery Clerk or the Estate’s Manager to be notified on arrival and departure of the gravedigger.
  3. Mobile phones are to be carried at all times.
  4. Correct safety clothing and boots to be worn at all times.
  5. Digging is not to take place at weekends, public holidays or after 4 pm without prior permission of the Clerk.


General Rules

  1. The plot will be marked by the Cemetery Clerk or Estates staff.
  2. Digging must take place in a safe manner and according to industry guidelines.
  3. Shoring equipment should be used as appropriate, according to weather and soil conditions.
  4. Spoil should be placed at least one metre from the edge in order to minimise the risk of collapse.
  5. All edges must be protected by planks so that the weight of persons and tools will be evenly distributed.
  6. All excavations must be covered by boards or a grave cover when left unattended.
  7. On completion of an excavation and prior to a burial taking place, timber boards will be used to make a safe secure area for mourners to stand on around the perimeter of the grave. All timber boards must be at least 25 mm thick and extend at least 1/2 metre beyond the outer most edges of the grave.  All imitation grass matting used to mask the grave walls must be in sound condition and laid smooth and level.



  1. Before any person erects, or removes, a gravestone of any type an application must be made by a BRAMM accredited Memorial Mason for permission to do so.
  2. Once permission has been granted the installation must be carried out by a BRAMM licensed fixer.
  3. Only foundations and fittings conforming to the NAMM code of working practices may be used and the work must comply with BS8415 criteria.
  4. Correct clothing and safety boots to be worn at all times
  5. The Cemetery Clerk to be notified of the date and approximate time that work is to be carried out.
Paddock Wood Town Council