Grave inspections

GRAVESTONES at churches in Axbridge, Shipham, Wedmore and Weare will be inspected over the next few months to ensure they are safe.

GRAVESTONES at churches in Axbridge, Shipham, Wedmore and Weare will be inspected over the next few months to ensure they are safe.

Sedgemoor District Council is carrying out the checks and will be 'laying down' or cordoning off headstones or repairing or fixing memorials deemed unstable.

The inspections will take place at 23 closed churchyards in the district including St John the Baptist Church in Axbridge, St Leonard's in Shipham, St Gregory's in Weare and St Mary's in Wedmore.

The inspections caused an uproar in a North Somerset village two years ago after a number of headstones were laid down for safety reasons.


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But Michael Yelder, warden at St Mary's Church in Wedmore, does not believe it will cause a problem in the village.

He said: "We had all the gravestones topple tested about three years ago and we had a few stones laid on the ground, but it didn't cause any problems.

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"The majority of the gravestones in the church are very old and their relatives are no longer in the area.

"There are a couple of graves which will probably need restoring."

Although memorials are the responsibility of the next-of-kin, the council has a duty of care as the owner of the land to make sure members of the public are safe. For more information call 0845 408 2540.

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