Town Cemetery Regulations
Below are regulations for the Hillsborough Town Cemetery, located at 200 E. Corbin St. Grounds maintenance of town cemeteries is managed by the Public Space and Sustainability Division. The Public Works Division oversees cemetery operations and burials at the Town Cemetery.
The Town Cemetery is open to the public throughout the year from sunrise until sunset. No person may enter the cemetery at any other time.
No grave may be opened and no burial may take place in a town cemetery except by a licensed funeral director or designated employees under the supervision of the town.
The town shall be notified at least one work day in advance of any funeral for which a grave will be opened. Graves must be marked ahead of time by the town. The town will not mark graves on weekends. Residents should not contact the town to mark gravesites or monuments. Funeral homes and monument companies are responsible for making these arrangements.
No grave will be opened less than 5 feet from the bottom except for cremations. All graves must be level with surrounding areas. Each burial plot is limited to one of the following:
- The interment of one human body.
- The interment of one human body and one cremation urn.
- The interment of no more than four cremation urns.
The town conducts an annual cleanup of decorations on March 1. Items that will be removed and discarded include:
- Any Christmas or Valentine’s Day decorations.
- Damaged decorations, such as silk flowers that are coming apart or broken vases.
- Any decorations that have blown away and are no longer attached to a gravesite.
- Any decorations placed on the ground, including artificial flowers, plastic flower vases or wreaths.
Decorations are not permitted to be on the ground between March 1 and Nov. 1 due to the need for mowing and other grounds maintenance. Small flags may be placed in the ground at gravesites during the weeks of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
As provided in General Statute 14-148, without authorization of law or consent of the surviving spouse or next of kin of the deceased, it is unlawful to willfully:
- Throw, place or put any refuse, garbage or trash in or on the cemetery.
- Take away, disturb, vandalize, destroy or change the location of any stone, brick, iron or other material or fence enclosing the cemetery.
- Tamper or do any of the above with any shrubbery, flowers, plants or other articles planted or placed within the cemetery to designate where human remains are interred or to preserve and perpetuate the memory and name of any person.
Violation is a Class 1 felony if the damage is $1,000 or more and a Class 1 misdemeanor otherwise.
No one may drive or park any motor vehicle in the cemetery unless engaged in activities consistent with the use of a cemetery. Motor vehicles may only be driven on marked roads, with the exception for equipment necessary for grave preparation or monument setting.
No unleashed dogs, horses, or other animals are allowed in the cemetery; and no animals are allowed to run at large.
No one may post or attach any bills, posters, placards, pictures, or any form of political or commercial advertising within the cemetery or on the inside or outside of any wall or fence enclosing any cemetery.
Funeral homes are responsible for gravesite maintenance during the first six months after burial. Within those six months, if a grave space sinks below surrounding ground, becomes eroded or otherwise becomes a problem due to lack of proper restoration or stabilization, the town will notify the responsible funeral director and request that corrective action be taken within 10 days.
After the six-month period, the town is responsible for maintaining gravesites.
No monument or marker can be placed on any site except under the supervision of and according to the instructions of the town.
Grave space markers must be composed of a marble or granite base and must be a maximum base size of 66 inches by 18 inches for a double marker and 28 inches by 16 inches for a single marker. No marker composed of a brick or concrete base or border is permitted. All markers must be level with the surrounding ground. Markers in zones 7 and 9 must be flat.
If any monument or marker in the town’s cemetery becomes unsafe, unsightly or in need or repair or resetting, the town will attempt to notify the owner of the relevant Certificate of Burial Right and request that the needed repairs be made under the town's supervision. The town is not obligated to place, replace or repair any monument or marker in the Town Cemetery, although case-by-case repairs are considered.
Residents should not contact the town to mark gravesites or monuments. Funeral homes and monument companies are responsible for making these arrangements.
All cemetery plots have been sold. No person may sell or exchange any burial right for a profit or gain. No town resident may purchase or otherwise acquire a burial right at an in-town rate for the intended burial of an out-of-town person.
Differential fees were charged according to whether the person intended to be buried in the space was a resident of the town or owned property inside the town limits at the time such burial right was purchased. The fee for each burial plot was $500 for a town resident and $1,000 for a nonresident. The same fees applied whether the burial plot was to be used for an interment or cremation.
A Certificate of Burial Right was issued to the person who purchased a burial right. The certificate identifies the purchaser and the specific lots and plots to which the certificate applies.
The Certificate of Burial Right entitles the owner to use the designated spaces as a place of burial for any person, subject to the terms and conditions of the Hillsborough Cemetery Ordinance. Upon the death of the owner of a Certificate of Burial Right, all rights evidenced by such a certificate shall pass to the owner's heirs, legatees or devisees in the same manner as other interests in personal property.
No one may plant, prune, or remove any plant located within the cemetery. In addition, no one may place on or around any grave site the following between March 1 and Nov. 1: a fence, border, picture, toy, handmade ornament or other self-described memoriam.
Town staff may remove any tree, shrub or other plant that hinders the maintenance of any part of the cemetery. Town staff also may remove any flowers or plants from the cemetery as soon as they deteriorate or otherwise become unsightly.