Churchyard Rules and Regulations for Devon

Churchyards have different regulations to cemeteries regarding materials and colour. Here is a breakdown of these regulations:


Churchyards in Devon come under the Diocese of Exeter, this covers all the Church of England churchyards and sets out the guidelines for memorials that are permitted in these churchyards. Any headstone or cremation memorial that complies with these regulations will be permitted. For anything else you must seek  permission from the Chancellor of the Diocese of Exeter, this is what is known as a faculty.


  1.  Upright headstones must be no more than 4ft high, no more than 3ft wide and no more than 6" thick. Slate memorials must be no les than 1.5" thick.
  2. Flat stones either flush with the turf or no more than 9" above a base which must not extend less than 3" all round and must itself be flush with the turf. They must not be more than 7ft by 3ft overall including the base.
  3. A headstone may stand on a base of the same stone which is part of the design and does not project more than 4" beyond the headstone in any direction, except where a flower container is provided in which case this may extend up to 8".




All memorials should be made of hardwood or natural stones. Only stones traditionally used in local buildings or stones closely similar to them in colour, texture and durability are permitted. Permitted finishes are rustic and fine rubbed, a mirror polish so as to reflect images is not allowed.


The following are not permitted: black or blue granites darker than Rustenburg grey and white marble (apart from infants' memorials), red granite is permissable where the church and neighbouring buildings are built of a similar stone.


Most accept light grey granite, dark grey granite and grey slate.