Graveyards are an integral part of our communities and our local heritage. They are also among the most varied, accessible and important heritage sites in the County.
They are a final resting place for those that have gone before us; they also frequently provide clues to understanding our past. As well as being a source of local genealogy they are also an important feature in our historic landscape. They can have decorative ironwork, mature trees and ornate and sometimes ancient gravestones. They are of archaeological and architectural interest and serve also as wildlife habitats..A visit to a graveyard steeps us in local heritage and immediately connects us with the past.
It is for these reasons that careful consideration should be shown when conserving and managing our graveyards. Currently the County Council provides and maintains burial grounds around the county and supports voluntary burial ground committees who look after these burial grounds by providing annual maintenance grants and also amenity grants.
Essential Do’s and Don’ts of Graveyard Care and Conservation
• Contact your local Heritage Officer before you begin
• Check ownership and legal status of graveyard/seek owners permission
• Plan a programme of work and begin with least difficult tasks
• Retain healthy trees- favour native species
• Maintain existing pathways
• Keep boundary walls, banks and hedges
• Keep any architectural and sculptural fragments, record their position and report to the National Monuments Service and National Museum of Ireland
• Start without professional advice and a clear plan
• Demolish or remove anything from the site without the permission of the National Monuments Service
• Use machinery to clear or level the site
• Burn vegetation or use total spectrum weedkiller
• Plant wild plants or uproot ivy or trees
• Use wire brushes or sandblasters
• Move gravestones without archaeological advice or supervision