Uplyme churchyard. Photo by Chris Carson

Grave concern over crumbling tombstones

Thursday, November 29, 2012
2.41 PM

Church warning after ancient gravestone collapses

Visitors who lean on the ageing tombstones in Uplyme churchyard could end up permanent residents there.

That is the warning from officials who have issued an urgent safety alert after one of the hefty gravestones recently collapsed.

Vicar Gavin Tyte said it did not fall of its own accord but collapsed when someone leant on it.

He said the stone had developed unseen fissures or cracks after being weakened through age and weathering.

“Someone lent on it and it broke apart, fracturing into multiple pieces,” he said

“It was extremely heavy and could have injured someone – child or adult.

“We do our best to ensure that the churchyard is as safe as possible and children are welcome in the churchyard. However, for their safety please ensure they are supervised at all times. It would be prudent to warn them and not allow them to touch or climb on any of the gravestones.”