Headstone testing

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 memorials checked by qualified staff.

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

How we test

  • firstly, a memorial is tested to check if it is safe
  • if there is a safety concern, the memorial 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
  • memorials will not be individually cordoned off unless the memorial is very large and the opinion of a structural engineer is neede
  • if a memorial has been made safe, the family, who are responsible for the memorial, can contact a monumental mason with a view to having the memorial 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)
  • Shawfield – Section M (Selkirk)
  • Heatheryett (Galashiels)
  • Ladhope (Galashiels)
  • Ashkirk New Cemetery
  • Kirkhope – Plans 3 & 4
  • Rosebank New Cemetery (Kelso)
  • Castlewood Extension (Jedburgh)
  • Wilton New Sections (Hawick)
  • Innerleithen New Section
  • Peebles New Section

Headstone testing demonstrations

Short demonstrations of how we test headstones have been arranged for the following dates and times:-

  • Monday 15th May           Wairds, Melrose               10.00 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 16th May           Lillliesleaf                           10.00 am – 11.00 am
  • Thursday 18th May         Shawfield, Selkirk             10.00 am – 11.00 am

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 .