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When a loved one has passed away, families often wish to have a lasting memorial put in place in order to commemorate and remember them. A memorial can also be used as a place of peace and reflection when families and friends wish to remember a loved one.

Bereavement Services offer a range of memorials that can be installed in Sunderland Crematorium, a number of our cemeteries or in certain parks and open spaces.

Book of Remembrance

To commemorate those cremated at Sunderland Crematorium we have provided Books of Remembrance.

There are four volumes, one for each quarter of the year and they are displayed in the Hall of Remembrance at Sunderland Crematorium.

The books contain leaves composed of the finest sheepskin parchment, bound in calf vellum and richly tooled in gold leaf, with the cover protected by cabochons of semi-precious stones. 

Two pages per book are allocated to each day of the year, and the book is displayed open at the corresponding day, in a protective glass case, so that the memorial entries may be seen on each anniversary.

There is also an electronic Book of Remembrance on the wall to the left of the display cases and this is provided so visitors can if necessary look up other family or friends details when visiting the Hall of Remembrance.

Families and friends can bring cut flowers to the crematorium in memory of loved ones on the anniversary of their death only and place them in the Hall of Remembrance.

Vases and fresh water can be found in the room opposite the Book of Remembrance Hall.

The floral tributes may be taken from the Hall to decorate other rooms in the crematorium. After a reasonable time they will be removed by the crematorium staff.

Should you wish to know more about entries in the Book of Remembrance, or apply for one, please contact Life and family or e mail

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Internal Memorial Plaque in the Hall of Remembrance

Internal Memorial Plaques are located on the walls in the Hall of Remembrance.

Plaques bearing the name of the deceased and up to two lines of additional text are available for display and may be leased for either a five or ten year term, both of which can be renewed for a further period.

Each plaque measures 200mm x 50mm and is manufactured in a 'bronze' finish with engraved white lettering.

Should you wish to know more about Internal Memorial Plaques, or apply for one, please contact Life and family or e mail

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External Memorial Tablets in the Garden of Remembrance

A system of natural stone tablets with traditional gilded lettering has been provided on the walls surrounding the Garden of Remembrance.

Each tablet measures 10" by 2" (single) and 10" by 4.5" (double).

A single tablet will accommodate three lines of engraved text and a double six lines each line having a capacity of approximately 24 letters.

The tablets are available on a fixed ten year period, with an option to renew for a further ten year period if required.

Should you wish to know more about External Memorial Plaques, or apply for one, please contact Life and family or e mail

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Cremated Remains Vaults

A Cremated Remains Vault is a memorial in which you can store the ashes from a cremation in an 'above ground' secure vault.

Large enough to securely accept two caskets, urns or polytainers, the vaults are made from polished granite and the base includes a space for a flower vase. The large face plaques are suitable for a wide range of design options.

Vaults are sold on a lease term of 25 years, which can be extended.

Our Cremated Remains Vaults are currently only available in Houghton Cemetery.

Should you wish to know more about Cremated remains vaults, or apply for one, please contact Life and family or e mail

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Memorial Trees and Benches

One way to remember the life of a friend or loved one after their death is through the arrangement of a long standing tribute, a reminder that they are not forgotten.

A memorial bench or tree has always been a popular choice. You can visit the memorial bench and tree at a loved one's favourite viewpoint, either in a park or another special place, to reflect and remember those who are no longer here.

We have a number of memorial benches available for dedication to the memory of a loved one. Each bench is approximately six feet long, and is of a traditional style with cast iron end frames and hardwood seat. A brass plaque inscribed with your chosen dedication to your loved one is fixed to the centre of the back rest.

Memorial benches are leased for a ten year period, with an option to renew, and can be sited at favourite locations across the city, for example Herrington Country Park, Sunderland seafront or one of our cemeteries. The location chosen is subject to our final confirmation.

Should you wish to know more about Memorial trees and benches , or apply for one, please contact Life and family or e mail

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Memorial Safety

Sunderland City Council is responsible for 10 cemeteries and 22 closed churchyards, which collectively contain several thousand of headstones and memorials all of which are different in age and are in various states of repair and condition. 

The council has health and safety responsibilities to its employees, contractors and visitors to cemeteries and has a duty to assess the risks from cemetery structures and work activities within our cemeteries to ensure that all risks are controlled.  In addition to this, monumental masons also have a responsibility to work within cemeteries in accordance with the council's conditions and also to ensure that memorials are installed to standards set out within the Cemetery Regulations.  Finally, the grave owner also has a responsibility to maintain a grave so as not to present any hazard. 

Members of the public who see an unsafe headstone or memorial in any of our cemeteries should notify us so that an inspection, followed by the appropriate action, can be carried out. 

In addition to this, Sunderland City Council will conduct periodic inspections of all headstones and memorials located across our cemeteries and closed churchyards.  This is a five year 'rolling programme approach' which is in line with Health and Safety Executive recommendations.

If you are aware of a memorial that is in need of repair or has been vandalised you can report it to the City and neighbourhood team.

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