gravestone maintenance

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Thread Topic: gravestone maintenance
Topic Originator: dave
Post Date April 6, 2005 @ 9:17 AM
 gravestone maintenance
 RE: gravestone maintenance
 RE: gravestone maintenance
 RE: gravestone maintenance
 RE: gravestone maintenance

April 6, 2005 @ 9:17 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

What is the best way to clean gravestones when they are starting to deteriorate?  I don't want to use anything too harsh that might make it more difficult to read the inscription or damage the stone?  Someone told me they had used wirewool to clean off lichen etc.  Is this sensible?

April 20, 2005 @ 12:42 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I do remember reading somewhere that you should be very careful cleaning the gravestones, it might be worth contacting a local family history group, I know some of them are taking on such projects so they should be able to help
Editor's comment:  Thanks for that Janice.  Anyone  out there belong to a group involved in this type of project?  Let us know.

August 6, 2005 @ 3:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I read somewhere on the internet that the best way to clean gravestones was to soak them very thoroughly in water - for say an hour, and then to use a very soft brush and mild detergent and gently clean with the brush.  The cleaning should not be done on a dry stone as the stone could crumble.

Paul Reedman
February 16, 2007 @ 6:22 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

If a tree is growing right in the middle of a grave and blocking what is on the gravestone are you allowed to knock it down or is that the responsibility of someone else? As one of my relatives gravestone has a conifer growing right in the middle of it
Kate: Hello Paul.  I don't know the answer to this one.  Think you would need permission from the Council in charge of the particular cemetery.  If its Lincolnshire I could pose the question to the Lincolnshire List if you'd like me too?

Paul Reedman
February 17, 2007 @ 2:55 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes it's Stamford cemetery. If you could ask that question to Lincolnshire list and see what they say that would be great. Thanks Kate
Kate: Hello Paul.  I am getting some replies from the Lincolnshire list, when I think I have received them all I will send them on to you - may help you decide what to do.
Monday - Hello Paul.  I had 4 answers from the Lincolnshire list as follows:
1)"Having been involved in the maintenance of cemeteries in the first instance I would check with the Council. It may well be they will say it is the responsibility of the grave owner, but they should be able to tell you who that is, You would then need the permission of that person or if they have died their Executors to remove the conifer"
Be very careful, if your Council behaves like some and the tree has in any way interfered with the stability of the stone, you  could find yourself lumbered with the bill for making a gravestone safe under  the Health and Safety laws or finding that the stone is placed flat on the  ground or removed completely. We have the same problem with a headstone  which is  being pushed over by a conifer( planted by  we know not who but we are very annoyed with them!). The intention is now to see  if we can get those of the family interested in the family tree to club together  for the monumental masons fee before we announce our interest in removing the  conifer.

3)I can give you a definitive answer as a current serving Parish Clerk
responsible for a Closed Churchyard and an open cemetery.

It all depends on who owns and administers the said burial ground. If it's a district or borough or Parish Council they can remove trees from graves.They will usually (and this is seldom possible) seek permission from the  known grave deed owner.
The church may own and administer the burial ground, in which case it would be their responsibility. Any "digging" of any obstruction in any plot is a matter for careful consideration as there are very established legalities.
Having some relatives who have elected burial, I can attest that it
the grave-owner's responsibility. However, there may be tree-cutting
restrictions set by the council or other authority.
Odd that they'll put a road through a cemetery but won't let you cut
down a tree without a permit and a public hearing. Such is
Kate:  It seems a difficult problem Paul and seems you must proceed with caution and make sure you have permission if you undertake doing anything yourself.  It looks as if you would be better to get the administrators of the Cemetery to make a ruling for you.

Have you thought about joining the Lincolnshire list?  I think you would really enjoy belonging to it as not only could you pose questions, but also you could offer advice to others on the list as you have now gained quite a bit of research experience.