We are not responsible for the condition of the grave or the area around it. This means that we will fix a memorial to the grave, as marked, and if the ground is uneven we will fix the memorial so that it is level when measured with a spirit level (i.e. level to the bubble). This can mean that one side or one end of the memorial has ground that is higher or lower than the other side or end. In such cases all we can suggest is that you arrange for the cemetery office to build up the soil on the lower side or, if they will not do so, ask if they will allow you to do so. We are not landscape gardeners and whilst the installation of a memorial can involve digging up surrounding ground and grass we will always endeavour to leave it in a tidy state – as much as the weather allows this (i.e. if we fix during wet weather the area around the memorial will get trodden flat and may be left somewhat muddy but when the wet weather passes the mud will dry and the grass will grow back – if there was grass there in the first place).
It is customary for cemeteries to delay the placing of a memorial until a minimum amount of time has passed – to allow the soil in the grave to settle and compact (after which time you could ask the cemetery office to top up the grave).
Memorials can weigh a considerable amount and it is therefore important that the ground beneath it is compacted otherwise the weight of the memorial will cause the soil to drop – and the memorial become unlevel.
Our offer is this: if in the first two years of the memorial being on the grave it becomes unlevel we will return to the grave to relevel it once, free of charge. We will not do so immediately it becomes unlevel for two reasons:-
- It may not have finished moving – so we may visit the grave twice to monitor its movement
- We may not be due in that cemetery or that part of the country for some time
We would be happy to correct any further movement after we have relevelled a memorial free of charge once but we would then need to charge for this as we are not responsible for what happens under or around a memorial.
Ask us about the use of under bearers that are fixed beneath the foundation and across the grave space, resting on ground that has never been dug. These minimise the risk of subsidence. A visit to any cemetery will show many memorials that have dropped significantly many years after installation – due to the sub-surface void that arises when, sadly, a coffin breaks down. Under-bearers can minimise this risk at a lower cost than the cost of relevelling a memorial one or more times. If you are interested please ask – we have a guidance note and images that we can send to you.
More Guidance Notes
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact us. A member of the team would be happy to discuss your requirements and help you on the way to select a perfect memorial.