Those who touch our lives stay in our hearts forever. North Ayrshire Council would like to help honour those we have lost by providing different memorials options for families and loved ones.

Memorials in cemeteries

The right to erect a memorial is provided as part of the purchase of the Exclusive Right of Burial.

There is no requirement to erect a memorial, or headstone, if you do not wish to do so.

All memorial works must be by stonemasons, or monumental sculptors, registered under the British Register of Accredited Monumental Masons.

Memorials must be constructed of natural stone, or terrazzo, and must not contain any wood, plastic or glass. 

All inscriptions are approved by North Ayrshire Council.

We do not permit:

  • wooden crosses
  • copes, railings, fences
  • gravel, corner stones

Before the memorial is erected, the memorial mason must obtain permission from Bereavement Services.

Lair memorial repairs

A memorial is your property. You are responsible for maintenance. Memorial repairs must be carried out by a registered memorial mason. This ensures that work is carried out to appropriate standards. For details of masons operating within North Ayrshire, contact us.

Alternatively, Bereavement Services can make a memorial safe. Depending on the condition and size of the memorial, North Ayrshire Council can either:

  • lay it flat
  • trench it into the ground (a third of the stone will be below ground level)

Floral tributes and trees

Planting is allowed, at the head of the lair, with prior permission from the council. 

Trees may only be planted on woodland area graves.

We remove funeral flowers from graves 3 weeks after interment. If flowers remain sightly, we may leave for a week longer.

We may remove memorial wreaths at our discretion.

We remove, and dispose of, Christmas wreaths at the end of January.

Report an issue with floral tributes.

Plaques in cemeteries

There are no areas for memorial plaques in our cemeteries. You may only place plaques on an existing grave, or you may arrange to install a bench plaque to remember a loved one.

Benches in cemeteries

We are unable to offer installation of private benches in our cemeteries. Due to poor conditions, or locations close to areas allocated for graves, we are removing older private benches.

Council benches will be installed at suitable locations to allow family and friends the opportunity to sit and reflect. 

Email Bereavement Services to suggest locations in our cemeteries where you think a bench may be beneficial. We will consider all requests sympathetically but may not be in a position to grant requests where space is limited.

Safety inspections

We carry out inspections of all memorials in our cemeteries and churchyards to ensure they are safe.

Trained members of staff carry out a visual inspection, then hand test the memorial to a maximum of 25kg of pressure.

If a memorial fails a safety inspection, we label it as unsafe. If it is considered a significant risk, we may:

  • stake and tie the memorial
  • lay it flat
  • trench it into the ground

We keep a record of the reasons for failed inspections.

Inspections are also carried out before a grave is excavated for a burial.

Report an unsafe memorial.