Unsafe Cemetery Gravestones

Following the death of a young boy in Glasgow in 2017, there is a National initiative underway to determine which gravestones are unsafe in all cemeteries in Scotland.

South Lanarkshire are well progressed in their large task of visiting each cemetery and assessing the safety of the existing gravestone. If you have family buried in Priestfield Cemetery on Hillhouse Road, or in High Blantyre Cemetery at Cemetery Road, you might want to check if your family memorial is one of many that have now been deemed unsafe. 

Actual Gravestones are not the property of the council and families of the deceased have a responsibility, (if they are so inclined) to ensure stones are maintained. Even if the stone is relatively new, flagged gravestones can be down to various issues some including the following: 

•subsequent burials or subsidence
•memorials not being erected properly 
•older foundations not being installed correctly 
• memorials not having steel dowels long enough
• memorials not being pinned at all
• weather or vandalism
• poor maintenance

South Lanarkshire Council are kindly wavering the costs of the new foundations (£123.60) but they aren’t covering the costs of any other work that might be needing carried out on the actual gravestones above ground.

We know this a concern to many families who may have a stone currently supported by a wooden post or in some more severe cases, the stone laid down on the ground.There may be rare instances where vandalism has caused damage and a discussion may be necessary to see if the council can do anymore to protect cemeteries. This can be especially distressing if they have experienced recent bereavements. Certainly, for Blantyre, our local Councillors and Blantyre Community Council are aware of the matter and may wish to separately comment further.

Meantime, we’ve sourced a professional, highly recommended company who are willing to help. Priory Monuments can be contacted on 01698 426700. They’ll be able to offer further advice and indeed ensure that any concerns or necessary actions are remedied quickly in the most affordable manner.

Photo Courtesy: E Currie


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  1. Why is it down to family members to pay for huge amount of money to repair loved ones gravestones? Council are willing to pay small amount but expect families to pay quite a substantial amount of money? Hamilton council should be responsible ? If they weren’t why waiver small amount? We paid for a service which should be covered by mistakes made by council if quote foundations sinking this should have been detected when land was bought and used as a cemetery Hamilton council are to blame not families! . I personally will be seeking legal advice.

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