Leaking graves force part of Ayr cemetery to be closed to mourners

The ‘leaking graves’ have forced part of an Ayrshire cemetery to be closed to mourners.

Those wishing to visit the resting place of their loved ones will not be able to do so for at least three weeks after the council chiefs make the decision to test the water infiltration in the lairs of Ayr cemetery.

This follows an earlier council inquiry after concerns were raised that conditions at the Holmston Road burial grounds looked like a ‘mud bath’ last fall.

It is understood that the tombs of the “above ground” mausoleums are leaking water, and a mourning person was shocked to see water pouring out of his beloved’s bedroom last year.

The tombs for the mausoleum were set up at a cost of £ 64,000 per grave, with each structure accommodating enough space for eight bodies, with the first appearing at Ayr Cemetery in 2019.

It is understood that there are at least a dozen mausoleums currently on the site.

Now council teams are to probe the leak from the newer east side of the cemetery for the remainder of the month.

Mausoleum of the cemetery of Ayr
(Image: Ayrshire post)

Investigative work began on Monday January 10 with teams of specialists called in to carry out the delicate operation.

A source has revealed to Ayrshire Live how the teams will drill small holes and insert cameras to inspect for possible leaks.

The South Ayrshire Council has assured those in mourning that the work will be carried out “with respect and in safety”.

Access to the Butterfly Baby section of the Ayr expansion and the cremated remains section will still be available.

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A spokesperson for the local authority said: “Concern has been expressed by a member of the public that there may be water seepage into some of the rooms in the Ayr cemetery extension.

“An investigation is currently being carried out by a specialist and it should take about three weeks.

“During this period, the extension of the cemetery will be closed to the public to allow the investigation to be carried out with respect and safety.

“Access to the Butterfly Baby and Cremated Remains section of the Ayr expansion will still be available.

“We know this can be upsetting for some and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause while the work is in progress.”

Ward Councilor Brian McGinley is hopeful that no major issues will be uncovered during the investigation.

The deputy head of the council said: “We do not anticipate any major problems, this is purely a precautionary measure.

The Labor politician added: ‘We are checking that everything is as it should be, concerns have been conveyed to us but people have no evidence that there are leaks because the chambers are sealed.

“The workers will drill a small hole in the chamber so that there is no disturbance of the graves.”

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