Burial Grounds Act
BURIAL GROUNDS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
2. Existing burial grounds
3. Licensing of burial grounds
4. Prohibition of burial in unlicensed ground
5. Management and control of burial grounds
6. Allotments to religious denominations
7. Discontinuance of burial grounds
9. Recovery of penalties, etc.
BURIAL GROUNDS ACT
(Acts 5 of 1944 and 9 of 2011)
[23 December 1944]
1. This Act may be cited as the Burial Grounds Act.
Existing burial grounds
2. The cemeteries and burial grounds used as such at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be and are hereby declared to be licensed burial grounds within the meaning of this Act, and any allotments in any such burial grounds made to any denomination before the commencement of this Act shall remain as an allotment to such denomination under this Act.
Licensing of burial grounds
3. The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may by proclamation licence as a public or private burial ground any parcel of land which may be required for that purpose. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Prohibition of burial in unlicensed ground
4. It shall not be lawful to bury a dead human body in any place not being a licensed burial ground, and any person who shall bury or in any way act or assist in the burial of any such body, in any place not being a licensed burial ground, shall, for every such offence, be liable to a penalty of $96.
Management and control of burial grounds
5. (1) The management and control of all burial grounds in Montserrat shall be vested in the Public Health Advisory Board established by the Public Health Act (hereinafter referred to as “the Board”) and the Board may with the approval of the Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet from time to time make regulations for the general governance of licensed burial grounds. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
(2) The power to make regulations conferred by this section shall include power to require, impose and charge dues and fees with respect to the matters dealt with in such regulations.
(3) All such regulations shall be laid before the Legislative Assembly and, when approved by the Legislative Assembly, shall be published in the Gazette, and a local newspaper (if any), and when so published shall have the force and effect of law. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
Allotments to religious denominations
6. The Board shall from time to time allot any public burial ground licensed under this Act in such proportion as it shall deem right and advisable, to and among the various religious denominations in Montserrat, and no religious service shall be performed at the burial of the dead in a part of such burial ground allotted as aforesaid, unless the minister in charge of such denomination shall have consented thereto.
Discontinuance of burial grounds
7. The Governor acting on the advice of Cabinet may by order declare that any place shall cease to be a 1burial ground, and such place shall thereupon no longer be a lawful place for burial. (Amended by Act 9 of 2011)
8. Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder for which no penalty is expressly provided, shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding $48, and in the case of a continuing offence to a further penalty of $9.60 for each day during which the offence is continued after written notice in this behalf from the Board.
1 The Cemetery located at Carrs Bay ceased to be a burial ground with effect from 30
November, 2003. (S.R.O. 67/2003)
Recovery of penalties, etc.
9. All penalties under this Act may be recovered on summary conviction before a Magistrate.
BURIAL GROUNDS PROCLAMATION – SECTION 3
The following burial grounds have been established—
(1) ALL THAT plot of land adjacent to the Methodist Church at Judy Piece in
the parish of Saint Peter in Montserrat containing approximately one half acre and
bounded on the North-East and West by land owned by Mr. Lee of Blakes and on the
South by a public pathway. (S.R.O. 3/1954)
(2) That parcel of land adjacent to the Apostolic Faith Mission Church at
Tuitts and hereinafter described—
ALL THAT rectangular lot, piece or parcel of land situate at Tuitts in the parish
of St. George’s in the island of Montserrat measuring sixty feet by forty feet and
bounded on the North by Bethel Estate, on the West and South by lands of the
Apostolic Faith Mission and on the South by the Tuitts Public Road. (S.R.O. 14/1963)
(3) ALL THAT plot, piece or parcel of land being a part of the Hermitage
Estate in the Parish of Saint George, in the Island of Montserrat, containing
approximately 30,661 square feet in area, and bounded on all sides by other lands of
the said Hermitage Estate, all as the same is set out bounded and described in a plan
thereof drawn by Bertrand B. Burke, Licensed Surveyor, on 25 July, 1972. (S.R.O. 22/1972)
(4) ALL THAT lot, piece or parcel of land being a part of the Hermitage
Estate in the Parish of Saint George, in the island of Montserrat, containing
approximately 26,610 square feet, and bounded on the North, East, South East, South
and South West by a Public Road, and on the West by other lands of the said
Hermitage Estate, all as the same is set out bounded and described in a plan thereof
drawn by Bertrand B. Burke, Licensed Surveyor, on 13 November, 1974. (S.R.O. 1/1975)
(5) ALL THAT rectangular lot, piece or parcel of land, situate entirely within
the boundaries of the property of the Church of God of Prophecy at Happy Hill
Village in the Parish of Saint Peter, lying to the East of the present Church Building,
and in extent sixty feet in length by twenty two feet in width, as delineated on a
published 12:2500 map sheet signed by Senior Surveyor E.F. Lucas and dated 6 April,
1973. (S.R.O. 23/1973)
(6) ALL THAT lot piece or parcel of land situate at Salem in the Parish of
Saint Peter in Montserrat containing 6755.01 square feet and bounded as follows, that
is to say, on or towards the North by land of William Sweeney, on or towards the
South by the public road, on or towards the East by land of William Sweeney and on
or towards the West by the public road, all as the same are delineated and set forth on
the plan thereof by James Percival Meade, licensed surveyor of Plymouth and dated
13 October, 1971. (S.R.O. 7/1976).
(7) Parcel of land situated at Salem approximately one acre being parcel 11/2/21, bounded as follows:—
On the North by parcel 11/2/20 (St. James Anglican Church), on the East by
parcel 11/2/183 (Unclaimed), on the South by parcel 11/2/22 (Shiloh Pentecostal
Church), on the West by Public Main Road. (S.R.O. 71/2003)
Parcel of land situated at Lime Kiln and described as Block 12/4 Parcel 325 in the
Beachettes Registration Section, for the purposes of the burial of the body of Mr
Alphonsus Cassell MBE. (S.R.O. 42/2010)
BURIAL GROUNDS REGULATIONS
ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS
1. Short title
3. Control of burial grounds
4. Hours of opening
5. Register of interments
6. Fees to be paid into Treasury
7. Dimensions of graves
8. Re-opening of grave
9. Number of bodies in one grave
10. Erections of vaults, etc.
11. Board to be informed of design of vault, etc.
12. Repairs to erections in burial ground
13. Design of fence or enclosure to be approved by Board
14. Fees for burial and other matters
15. Grave diggers
16. Monuments, etc., in state of disrepair
17. Paupers, etc.
19. Public behaviour in burial ground
BURIAL GROUNDS REGULATIONS – SECTION 5
(S.R.O.s 4/1945 and 4/1960)
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Burial Grounds Regulations.
2. In these Regulations “the Board” shall mean the Public Health Advisory
Board established by the Public Health Act.
Control of burial grounds
3. Every burial ground shall be under the control of the sanitary officer of the
district or such other person as may be appointed by the Governor. Such officer shall
be known as “the Custodian” of the burial ground for which he shall be appointed,
and shall be responsible for its proper management in accordance with these
Hours of opening
4. Every burial ground shall be open for burials from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Register of interments
5. The Custodian shall keep a register for all interments, showing the dates of
burial, names, sexes, and ages of all persons buried in the burial ground under his
control. He shall also keep an account book in which shall be entered all moneys
received and expended by him with the dates of each receipt and payment.
Fees to be paid into Treasury
6. (1) All fees and dues received or recovered under these Regulations by the
Custodian shall forthwith be paid into the Treasury.
(2) Fees and dues payable under these Regulations may be sued for and
recovered by the Custodian summarily as a civil debt.
(3) No grave shall be opened in a burial ground without the permission of the
Custodian and until all fees for the same shall have been paid.
Dimensions of graves
7. No grave shall be more than nine feet or less than six feet in depth.
Re-opening of grave
8. No grave shall be re-opened until ten years shall have elapsed from the date of
the original opening of the same.
Number of bodies in one grave
9. Not more than one body shall, without the written permission of the Custodian,
be interred in any one grave, except where more than one member of the same family
is to be buried at one and the same time.
Erections of vaults, etc.
10. (1) No person shall build or erect any vault, tomb, headstone, monument,
cross or fence in any part of a burial ground without having purchased the fee simple
thereof. The part so acquired shall be enclosed within six months after it has been
(2) The price to be paid for acquiring the fee simple of land at a burial ground
shall be at the rate of thirty six cents per square foot, superficial measure.
(3) No quantity of land less than eight feet by three feet shall be sold except as
an addition to land already acquired.
(4) The acquisition of the fee simple of land in a burial ground shall be subject
to these Regulations.
Board to be informed of design of vault, etc.
11. Before any vault, tomb, headstone, monument, cross or fence is built or
erected in any part of a burial ground, a statement in writing of the design and material
of the same and of the terms of inscription which it is intended to affix thereto shall be
submitted to the Board and no work shall be commenced on any such building or
erection until the Board shall have approved in writing of such design and material
and, in the case of an inscription, of the terms of such inscription.
Repairs to erections in burial ground
12. Monuments, railings, headstones and curbings shall be kept in repair by the
Design of fence or enclosure to be approved by Board
13. No denomination to whom a particular portion of a burial ground has been
allotted shall erect any separate fence or enclosure to such portion until the design and
plan thereof have been approved in writing by the Board.
Fees for burial and other matters
14. The fees for burials and for admission of a hearse or carriage in a burial ground
shall be in accordance with the Schedule.
15. (1) The Custodian shall appoint, subject to the approval of the Board, grave diggers, who shall receive such wages as are approved by the Board. The grave
diggers shall prepare the graves, and shall be present at all funerals to render every
necessary assistance, and when not engaged in digging graves, they shall be employed
in the cleaning of the ground, roads, and walks, and in the care of the burial ground
(2) No grave shall be dug in a burial ground except by a person employed by,
or with the approval of the Board.
Monuments, etc., in state of disrepair
16. The Custodian shall have the right to require the owner to repair or remove any
monument, railing, headstone or curbing, which has become dilapidated, or which, in
his opinion, is not kept in proper repair. After the expiration of fourteen days from the
date of a notice, in writing, requiring the owner to repair or remove such monument,
railing, headstone or curbing, the Custodian may, on failure of the owner to comply
with such order, have the necessary work executed and recover the cost thereof before
a Magistrate summarily as a civil debt. In the absence of any known owner, the Board
may have the necessary work done.
17. Upon the receipt of an order duly signed by a Magistrate, or of the certificate
of death from the proper officer of a public institution, for the burial of any pauper or
person dying in such public institution, or in other cases where the expenses of burial
are being borne by Government, the Custodian shall order that a grave be given free of
charge for the burial of such person, and shall remit all other fees.
18. No person shall within a burial ground—
(a) damage any building, fence, monument, tomb, tree or shrub;
(b) walk over, or climb upon any building, fence, monument, rail, tomb or tree;
(c) commit any nuisance;
(d) create any disturbance, or indulge in any noisy, provoking or boisterous language;
(e) behave disrespectfully during the burial of a body;
(f) play any game;
(g) leave any litter or deposit any filth;
(h) tether or allow to be at large or in any way graze any animal;
(i) pluck or remove any branches of trees, flowers or shrubs of any kind without the permission of the Custodian;
(j) haul or drive any cart, carriage, or other vehicle of any kind without permission having been first obtained from the Custodian.
Public behaviour in burial ground
19. Every visitor to a burial ground shall deport himself with decorum and shall be
(Impliedly amended by S.R.O. 11/1985 and substituted by S.R.O. 29/2009)
1. Opening of Grave Permission - Adult 15
2. Opening of Grave Permission - Child 10
3. Tomb Space 50