Cemeteries

david miller vandyke cemetery photo
Photo taken by David Miller
cemetries

Cemeteries

The Town Council currently owns and maintains two cemetery sites – Old Linslade and Vandyke Road. The cemetery grounds are open to the public daily throughout the year and funerals are accepted, by prior arrangement, between the hours of 10:00-14:30 in spring/summer and 10:00-15:00, Monday to Friday in Autumn/Winter (excepting Public Holidays).

Old Linslade (Old Linslade Road, Leighton-Linslade, Bedfordshire, LU7 7PS)
Old Linslade Cemetery is located in Old Linslade beside the lovely old St Mary’s Church. It was opened in 1964, the cemetery operates a lawn only policy which restricts the type and size of the memorial allowed. One headstone, vase, tablet or wooden cross is permissible. The site has 8 car parking spaces.

Vandyke Road (Vandyke Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 3HQ)
Vandyke Road Cemetery is located on Vandyke Road in Leighton Buzzard and has a beautiful chapel which seats up to 32 people and has a working organ on site. It was opened in 1884. The site has 12 car parking spaces

Opening Times:
Both Cemeteries will be opened to visitors: 
Weekdays 08:00     Sundays and Bank holidays 09:00 and closed:

Jan 17:00          July 20:00
Feb 17:00          Aug 20:00
Mar 17:00          Sep 20:00
Apr 20:00           Oct 17:00
May 20:00          Nov 17:00
Jun 20:00           Dec 17:00

 

Maintenance of Cemeteries
General maintenance of the cemeteries is carried out by the Cemeteries Service, although relatives may wish to maintain their own graves, e.g. the planting of annual flowers. Not all graves may be planted out, such as graves on lawn sections. Further information can be obtained from the Cemeteries department.

The Council is committed to maintaining its cemeteries to a high standard. If you would like to offer any feedback regarding either cemetery site please do so by clicking here.

Cemeteries service fees and charges arrow
Cemeteries rules and regulations arrow

Memorials
A memorial, normally made of stone, and commonly referred to as a headstone, can be erected over a grave as a marker. As the Council operates a mainly lawn only policy, there are restrictions on the type and size of memorial allowed.

Memorial masons must be registered with the Council and comply with NAMM Standards (National Association of Memorial Masons) before the Council will allow any work to be carried out in its cemeteries.

Purchase of plot etc
A purchased grave is where the right of burial can be bought for a specified period (known as Exclusive Right). This is currently 75 years in Town Council owned cemeteries. Only the owner of the Exclusive Right to burial can decide who will be buried in the grave and authorise a memorial which must abide by the Councils rules and regulations.
Your funeral director will help to make the necessary arrangements for buying a grave, but you can organise this yourself if you wish. It is important that you are aware of cemetery regulations and limitations concerning buying a grave and the type of memorials that are permitted. The Council will be happy to advise you and will assist in any way it can during this difficult time.

Memorial Testing
The Town Council will conduct annual memorial testing, the work is necessary to ensure the safety of those visiting or working in our cemeteries.

The Health and Safety Executive has advised those responsible for cemeteries that “the risk associated with unstable memorials is real and cannot be ignored” and that steps must be taken to identify and deal with any hazards. Ministry of Justice guidelines make it clear that the management of risks in burial grounds needs to be sensible, proportionate and undertaken in a sensitive way.

The Town Council has a duty of care, under the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, to ensure its facilities are safe for visitors and staff.

What happens if a memorial is found to be unsafe?
In most cases, the actual level of risk from an unstable memorial will be very low and such that a warning sign near to, or in some instances on, a memorial, will alert visitors to the potential danger until a repair has been arranged. Where a memorial may be so unstable there is an imminent risk of it toppling, it may be necessary to restrict access or lay the memorial flat.

In all cases, the grave number and area is noted and the burial register is checked for information regarding the registered owner(s) of the grave – as the party responsible for the maintenance of the memorial. Every effort will be made to contact the owner and a letter will be sent informing them of the situation.

Where a temporary measure has been taken to make a memorial safe, steps to affect a permanent repair should be taken as soon as possible.The Council is advising all deed holders who are affected by this, to contact us for advice on what is required to rectify the unstable memorial and whether there is any cost involved.

Historical Records
The Town Council sometimes receives requests from people that are interested in researching their family history. Such research can be a time consuming process, but simple searches for deceased relatives or friends buried in one of the Council owned cemeteries can be carried out. However, if extensive research is required, a search fee will be applied.

A search of the burial registers maintained and kept by the Council can be requested, although an appointment to view these records is necessary and must be arranged prior to any visit.

To request a search please email us with the below details:

• Cemetery location
• Full name of deceased
• Date of death