Memorial Inspections

We are inspecting the stability of thousands of gravestones across Oxford as part of a rolling programme, which began in 2007.

We carry out the checks as part of a legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The memorial inspections are undertaken by the Cemeteries Team.

Inspection Process

This begins with a visual inspection of all gravestones, followed by a test to check stability and then making the appropriate headstones safe.

Any memorial found to be unstable is made safe, where possible, with a wooden stake. Larger memorials may need to be carefully laid down within the grave space as a last resort.

Notices are placed in inspection areas to warn members of the public of the work.

The memorials remain the responsibility of the family that erected them and following the inspection a notice will be placed on each unstable memorial. It will request that anyone with an interest in the grave to contact the Cemeteries Office.

Records of the work are kept at the Cemeteries Office, Wolvercote.

Inspection Results

We anticipate that very few memorials (around one per cent) will be found to be unstable during our assessments.

New memorials erected since September 2005 should all meet the new standards introduced to ensure that memorials remain secure and stable for decades.

High risk inspections are available below

No At Risk Memorials have been found at the following locations (inspection dates in brackets):

  • St James' Churchyard, Cowley (2009)
  • St Mary Magdalen Churchyard, Oxford (2010)
  • St Giles’ Churchyard, Oxford (2010)
  • St Cross Churchyard, Oxford (2010)
  • St Andrew’s Churchyard, Headington (2010)
  • Osney Cemetery, Osney (2010)

More information

Memorial Safety Policy

Past Memorial Inspections - High Risk Results