Trenching Gravestones

A process to make ‘at risk’ gravestones, safer has begun in Blantyre Cemeteries. The process called “Trenching” started on Monday in Priestfield Cemetery.

If you recall, last year South Lanarkshire Council assessed all gravestones in Blantyre. Those which were deemed ‘unsafe’ or at risk of toppling were propped up by a wooden post with a laminated notice on them, asking for lair owners to take remedial action.

The controversial notices upset some people where even some new stones were classed as having inadequate foundations or not properly pinned to concrete. Knowing this is a sensitive issue, we sought some advice before posting this article.

Where gravestones were either broken or in imminent danger of collapse, the stones were carefully laid down on the ground by the Council. This has happened already at High Blantyre and Priestfield Cemeteries.

This latest intervention revisits the stones that had notices previously issued. “Trenching” is the burying of at least one third of the stone, so the stone can safely be upstanding.

A local stonemasonry company told us, “A lot of people have contacted us to inspect their stones. When we gave them prices for the required work, some people incorrectly thought they could have this reimbursed from the council. Of course, the council do not pay for any work, they simply waiver the foundation costs.”

Trenching work is underway as pictured at Priestfield. The Council will revisit all cemeteries in another 5 years.

Council staff are merely doing what was asked of them. Families may have to check the small print on their lair papers to ascertain what needs to be done to maintain their memorials.

There’s no doubt that the ongoing work will raise questions by those visiting the cemeteries or from families of lair owners. We hope this goes a little way to explaining whats happening. All enquiries about this subject should be addressed to the council directly from lair owners.


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