Sidmouth Urban District Council

Sidbury Cemetery


  1. The offices of the Sidmouth Urban District Council as the Burial Authority will be open from:-
    10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.15pm to 5.00 pm - Mondays to Fridays
    10.00 am to 12 Noon - Saturdays
    except on public and bank holidays when the offices will be closed.
  2. The cemetery will be open to the public as follows:-
    9.00 am to sunset weekdays
    9.00am to sunset on Sundays
    except that the burial ground shall be closed during the hours of Divine Service
  3. Notices of intended interments are to be given in writing to the Clerk of the Council during office hours, not less than 48 hours in the case of all interments in earthen graves, or three days in the case of interments in vaults or brick graves; and in every case, exclusive of Sundays or public or bank holidays.
  4. Every such notice of interment must contain the following particulars relating to the deceased:
    1. name in full
    2. permanent address prior to death
    3. address at which death occurred
    4. previous address in event of length of stay in district being less than one year
    5. date of death (day of month and year)
    6. age of person (if in years, last birthday)
    7. day and hour of intended interment
    8. name and address of Minister intended to officiate
    9. situation and class of grave or vault required, and if exclusive rights are desired, full name and address of the person to be registered as owner
    10. depth of proposed grave and length and width of coffin
    11. name of undertaker
  5. Information and any necessary forms may be obtained from the Council Offices, during the usual office hours.
  6. All fees for burials, graves or vaults are payable when notice of interment is given, and the ground shall not be broken until such fees are paid. All other fees are to be paid before the work is commenced. No receipts will be valid, unless on the official form of receipt issued at the Council offices.
  7. No burial shall take place before 9.00 am or after sunset, without the special permission of the Council.
  8. The selection of the grave space is in all cases, whether of general interment or of purchase, subject to the approval of the Council.
  9. A certificate of registration of the death, or where an inquest has been held the coroner's order, must be given to the Clerk before the interment. (Penalty in default 40s; 37 and 38 Vict. C. 88, s.17). For the burial of a still-born child a certificate from a qualified medical practitioner (if possible) or a certified midwife, or a coroner's order will be required.
  10. Not more than two grave spaces may be purchased by one person without the special permission of the Council; and no unused grave space adjoining a space in which an interment has taken place shall be purchased by the family of the deceased person unless both spaces be purchased.
  11. Grave spaces may be purchased at any time whether or not an immediate interment is intended.
  12. All graves to be dug and excavated by the servants of the Council, and the payment for this included in the list of charges.
  13. No coffin shall be buried in any common grave within less than four feet of the surface, unless it contains the body of a child under 12 years when it shall be buried not less than three feet below the surface, and no grave shall be less than 7 ft 6 ins, or more that 10ft in depth.
  14. When more than one body is buried in a grave, there shall be a layer of earth, 12 inches in depth, between each coffin.
  15. In common graves wooden coffins only will be allowed.
  16. None but purchased graves or vaults can be re-opened without the special permission of the Council; and no unwalled grave shall be re-opened within 14 years after the burial of a person above 12 years of age, or within 8 years after the burial of a child under 12 years, unless to bury a member of the same family, in which case a layer of earth, 12 inches thick, shall be left undisturbed above the previously buried coffin. If on re-opening any grave the soil be found to be offensive, such soil shall not be disturbed; and in no case shall human remains be removed from the grave.
  17. Wherever a burial has taken place in a grave over which no monument or stone is to be placed, the surface shall be re-covered with turf, and all surplus soil must be removed to such a place as the Council or their officer shall direct.
  18. All brick graves and vaults shall be made at the expense of the person requiring them, and shall be the property of the purchaser in perpetuity. For every vault two grave spaces will be allotted.
  19. No vault shall be less than six feet, or more than ten feet deep.
  20. All walls shall be nine inches thick, at least, and every wall between two vaults or brick graves may be a party wall. The walls shall be constructed of good whole bricks or stone properly bonded and solidly put together, with good mortar compounded of good lime and clean sand or other suitable material, or with good cement, or with good cement mixed with clean sand; or other good hard and suitable material properly and solidly put together.
  21. No interment shall take place in any vault or brick grave, not filled with earth, unless the corpse is enclosed in a metallic coffin or the coffin enclosed in an air-tight manner.
  22. No vault or brick grave shall be opened without the owner's, or his legal representative's consent in writing.
  23. All tombs, gravestones, monuments, tablets, memorials, kerbing, and other erections, together with all inscriptions thereon, are to be subject to the approval of the Council and when erected to be kept in repair by and at the expense of the respective owners, and if erected without such approval, or if not repaired after reasonable notice may be removed by the Council.
  24. When the exclusive right of burial has not been purchased, no erection other than headstones, footstones or kerbs, shall be allowed by stones may be laid flat. No erection will prevent the grave form being used again unless the exclusive right of burial has been purchased, or the retaining fee has been duly paid.
  25. The owners must remove all erections on the re-opening of private graves, and such portions of erections as are not removed from the cemetery after an interment are to be replaced by the owners on the grave on the next working day after the interment. In default, the Council may do the work and charge the owners of the erection in respect thereof. The Council will not be responsible for any damage to erections whether during removal, replacement, or at any other time, through any cause other than their own negligence.
  26. A drawing to scale in duplicate of every erection, and a statement as to the description of stone to be used, together with a copy in duplicate of the proposed inscription must be submitted for approval of the Council before erection. One drawing and one copy signed by the Clerk, or on his behalf, as evidence of such approval will be handed to the person applying for such approval, and the other will be retained by the clerk, who shall see that the erection and inscription respectively are in accordance therewith.
  27. No erection may be brought into or removed from the cemetery outside the usual hours without special permission.
  28. All memorials must be completed outside the cemetery, except that inscriptions may be added in the cemetery.
  29. All work to be done with due despatch and be under the supervision of the responsible officer, who may give such directions as he may think fit to preserve all grass margins, flowers, shrubs and trees in the cemetery.
  30. After the completion of the work all bricks, stones and other materials and spare soil and rubbish shall be removed, and the grave with the adjoining ground left in neat and proper condition. Masons, tradesmen and others will be held responsible for all damage done to the cemetery, or anything therein by themselves or their workmen.
  31. All charges in respect of memorials etc, must be paid before the work is commenced, and the written form of authority issued by the Council must be produced to the cemetery keeper on demand.
  32. Masons and other tradesmen must not solicit orders within the cemetery.
  33. No work may be done in the cemetery on Sundays and holidays.
  34. If a grave be planted with shrubs or flowers, the same must be done at the expense of the person requiring them and if all or any such shrubs and flowers be not properly tended, they can be removed at the option of the Council.
  35. No trees or shrubs shall be planted without the permission of the Council and when planted shall be under and subject to their control.
  36. All refuse from the planting and trimming of graves shall at once be removed and deposited in the receptacle provided by the Council for that purpose.
  37. Nothing may be removed from the cemetery without the permission of the Council, and any person detected stealing plants or flowers will be prosecuted.
  38. No child under 12 years of age will be admitted to the cemetery except under the care of a responsible person.
  39. All persons visiting the cemetery must keep to the gravel paths or roads except while visiting a grave and refrain from touching the ornaments or anything growing in the cemetery. Any damage whatever done in the cemetery must be made good by the person causing it.
  40. No dogs shall be admitted to the cemetery.
  41. No servant of the Council employed in the cemetery may receive any gratuity.
  42. The Council reserve the right to make further rules and regulations or any alterations in the foregoing which they may think necessary.
  43. All vaults and graves and rights therein will be sold subject to the payment of all fees and the observance of all rules and regulations from time to time fixed and made by the Council.

Cemetery Clauses Act 1847

The attention of the Public is especially called to the Cemeteries Clauses Act, 1847.


Every person who shall wilfully destroy or injure any building, wall, or fence belonging to the Cemetery, or destroy or injure any tree of plant therein, or who shall daub or disfigure any wall thereof, or put up any bill therein or on any wall thereof, or wilfully destroy, injure, or deface any monument, tablet, inscription, or gravestone within the Cemetery, or do any other wilful damage therein, shall forfeit to the (Council) for every such offence a sum not exceeding Five Pounds.


Every person who shall play at any game or sport, or discharge fire-arms (save at a military funeral) in the Cemetery, or who shall wilfully and unlawfully disturb any persons assembled in the Cemetery, for the purpose of burying any body therein, or who shall commit any nuisance within the Cemetery, shall forfeit to the (Council) for every such offence a sum not exceeding Five Pounds.

BY ORDER of the Sidmouth Urban District Council.

R Pickard

Clerk of the Council.

December 1952