Headstone testing

If a sign has been placed at your/your family’s headstone it has not passed the safety testing and we have been required to make this safe. Please find more ifnormation here. 

Headstone Testing Programme 

We are continuing our programme of headstone testing, which is essential to make sure that anyone who visits or works in our 154 cemeteries is safe.

The rolling programme of safety inspections continues, with headstone checked by qualified staff.

We will ensure the work is undertaken with due respect and only where absolutely necessary.

How we test

  • firstly, a headstone is tested to check if it is safe
  • if there is a safety concern, the headstone will be made safe by socketing into the ground or laying flat
  • signs will be placed at headstones which have failed the safety inspection and have had to be made safe - contact details will be provided on these should people want to get in touch
  • headstone will not be individually cordoned off unless the headstone is very large and the opinion of a structural engineer is neede
  • if a headstone has been made safe, the family, who are responsible for the headstone, can contact a monumental mason with a view to having the headstone restored

Testing schedule

A decision was taken at full Council on Thursday 30th March 2023 to recommence the headstone safety programme and this is expected to resume from May 2023.  This is essential to make sure that everyone who visits or works in our cemeteries is safe.

The next phase will include the following cemeteries and will conclude our initial five year testing programme. 

  • Lilliesleaf – Newer Section - completed Wednesday June 07 2023 
  • Wairds – Section C & D (Melrose) - completed December 2023 
  • Shawfield – Section M (Selkirk) - completed Monday 12 February 2024
  • Heatheryett (Galashiels) - completed Wednesday 28 February 2024
  • Ladhope (Galashiels) - completed 10 April 2024
  • Heriot New Cemetery - commencing April 2024 
  • Ashkirk New Cemetery - completed Tuesday 13 February 2024
  • Kirkhope – Plans 3 & 4 - completed Wednesday 14 February 2024 
  • Rosebank New Cemetery (Kelso) - completed 28 March 2024
  • Castlewood Extension (Jedburgh) - currently underway (April 2024)
  • Wilton New Sections (Hawick) - commencing April/May 2024
  • Innerleithen New Section - commencing April/May 2024
  • Peebles New Section - commencing April/May 2024

Headstone testing demonstrations

A short demonstration of how we test headstones has been arranged for:

  • Wednesday 1st May         Wilton Cemetery, Hawick          10.00 am – 11.00 am

  • Thursday 9th May            Peebles Cemetery                    10.00 am – 11.00 am

Other demonstrations at different cemteries will be scheduled for 2024 and further information will be publicised once these details are confirmed. 

All are welcome to attend the above demonstrations where staff will be on hand to answer any questions or queries regarding the headstone safety programme – while not essential it would be helpful if could let us know if you would like to attend by contacting us on 0300 100 1800 or via email placecemeteries@scotborders.gov.uk .