DO’S AND DON’TS OF GRAVEYARD AND CEMETERY CONSERVATION
- Do seek archaeological and ecological advice before work commences and when a plan has been carefully considered.
- Clear the site using only hand strimmers or other hand tools.
- Leave all hummocks in the ground; they may mark structural and archaeological features.
- Do seek archaeological advice on any tilting monument before attempting to rectify it. In many cases the monument will have carried out all its moving and will be better off left as it is.
- Maintain existing pathways using local gravel, small stones and grit.
- Keep all repair works to a minimum (stabilize and conserve). Natural decay is in keeping with the graveyard and represents the age of construction.
- Designate dump-sites away from graveyards/cemeteries.
- Prevent rust on ironwork by ensuring all ironwork is properly painted.
- Ensure where practicable that all unused buildings are kept weather proof.
- Retain boundary walls, hedges and banks.
- Retain healthy trees.
- Ensure that vegetation is managed correctly and that it is not unnecessarily disturbed. Overgrown vegetation can often provide an important habitat for animals, insects, birds, and plants. It can also make the setting more attractive to visitors. Excess cutting of grass can result in soil erosion.
- Do provide a stone, a replica rather than an historic stone, for the tradition of incising crosses.
- Do not start without professional advice and a plan to work on. Experts include an archaeologist, an expert in the conservation of historic structures and the local wildlife ranger.
- Do not use weed killer as it leaves the soil exposed and in turn causes erosion around the monuments and gravestones. This can lead to the exposure of foundations. The use of chemicals can also lead to the uptake of damaging salts into the stone.
- Do not burn off vegetation, or use total spectrum weed killers; the growth of weeds will increase. Do not burn rubbish on site.
- Do not dig graves near walls, they can cause structural damage.
- Do not carry out unlicensed excavation, this includes the removal of rubble from collapsed walls.
- Do not use machinery to clear or level the site.
- Do not level off pathways. Do not use grave slabs for paving.
- Do not lay new pathways without consulting an archaeologist.
- Do not remove gravestones or monuments without archaeological advice and supervision.
- Do not pull ivy off buildings, fragile gravestones or tombs/memorials.
- Do not use wire brushes or sandblasters; these will result in erosion of the stone.
- Do not apply paint to gravestone inscriptions, this will erode the stone.
- Do not repoint any masonry without professional advice. Do not use ribbon pointing on old boundary walls or buildings.
- Do not remove trees, uproot ivy trees, plants without professional advice.
- Do not remove any roots of felled or fallen trees as this can cause further damage.
- Do not plant wild plants without seeking expert advice.
- Do not use historic stones for incising crosses; provide a replica or
© 2012-2014 Catryn Power All Rights Reserved
Posted in: CONSERVATION