Visiting Guidelines

Visiting Guidelines

To avoid being locked in the cemetery, please note the gate closing hours:

From November 1 to April 30: Gates are closed at 5:00 pm
From May 1 to October 31: Gates are closed at 7:00 pm

VEHICLES

Passenger vehicles, vans, trucks, and small tour buses are permitted on the cemetery grounds. Visitors are welcome to tour the cemetery by vehicle or by foot. Laurel Hill’s narrow entrances and roadways limit use by large tour buses, school buses and freight trucks. A parking lot is available for over-sized vehicles, located directly across the street from the cemetery’s main entrance on Ridge Avenue. Please park to the side of the roads, enabling regular Cemetery traffic to travel around you.

Speed Limit: Please obey the 15 mph speed limit as you explore and enjoy the cemetery.

RECREATION

In keeping with the ethos of the rural cemetery movement, we welcome recreation at Laurel Hill, including picnicking, jogging, running, hiking, biking, roller skating, and rollerblading.

  • For your own safety and the integrity of our National Historic Landmark site, monuments should not be climbed, leaned against, or otherwise touched, as they can and do topple, and are more than 100 years old.
  • Please be respectful and keep in mind that Laurel Hill is a final site of rest.

Dogs

Dog walkers are welcome in Laurel Hill Cemetery and expected to follow the below guidelines:

  1. Dogs must be licensed and have required vaccinations.
  2. Dogs must remain leashed at all times.
  3. Dog owners must clean up after their pets. Pet waste bags and disposal containers are available at the Gatehouse and near the bridge to the South Section.

Service dogs are permitted in all areas of the cemetery grounds and buildings.

Picnics

Please note that except for special events, alcohol is prohibited on the grounds. Illegal substances are always prohibited. Visitors should remove all trash or other materials produced while visiting or dispose of them in appropriate containers at Cemetery entrance.

MAPS

  • Free maps are available in the brochure racks at the Gatehouse and Central Gate entrances.
  • Download the map before you arrive.
  • Souvenir maps are available in the Gift Shop for $3 and highlight a selection of our best-known residents.

GUIDED TOURS, SCHOOLS, and MEET-UP GROUPS

Laurel Hill encourages senior groups, meet-up groups, classes, clubs and schools to use the cemetery for educational and recreational purposes.

All organized, guided tours must be conducted by one of Laurel Hill Cemetery’s certified Guides. Visit our Private Tour Request page to learn more about our tour offerings and submit a request.

PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEOGRAPHY

Photography and videography is permitted on Cemetery grounds.

For shoots using models (human and otherwise), costumes, props, extensive equipment, and event photography (weddings, engagements, etc.), please see the “Commercial Shoot” guidelines below and contact us for pricing: 215-228-8200 or info@thelaurelhillcemetery.org.

Please read our Photography Guidelines for additional information and requirements, including a few highlights below:

  • Monuments should not be climbed, leaned against, or otherwise touched, as they can and do topple, and are more than 100 years old.
  • Groups of photographers or photography classes are asked to call in advance and to check-in the day of the visit. These visitation numbers are tracked for grant-writing purposes.
  • Commercial shoots and shoots before or after gate hours involve a signed agreement, staffing fee, and one month’s notice to set up an appointment time.
  • Photographing or otherwise recording funeral ceremonies, funeral processions, or families visiting grave sites is strictly prohibited (except where photographer is a member of the funeral party or family). All persons present on the Cemetery grounds should conduct themselves with decorum appropriate to a place of mourning, with due respect to those who might overhear them.

COMMERCIAL SHOOTS

The use of extensive equipment and lights, as well as the use of human models, costumes and props, and/or financial gain from the resulting still or motion pictures constitute a commercial shoot. Please see below for further guidelines:

A designated member of all still and motion photography productions must schedule a visit with Laurel Hill Cemetery a minimum of one month prior to their anticipated shoot date to meet with a cemetery representative and scout locations. The intended content of all shoots must be submitted, in writing, at this time; film shoots are required to provide a completed screenplay, highlighting cemetery scenes, for review. The content, location(s) and date(s) of all shoots will be approved at the discretion and convenience of Laurel Hill.

The designated member is responsible for signing the cemetery’s Site Use Agreement; for distributing copies of the agreement to each crew member; and for enforcing its terms for the duration of the production.

A fee, based on the production budget; size of the crew; time and length of the shoot; and required staff overtime, will be assessed to all shoots. This fee will start at a minimum of $500, not including staff time, for small-budget films, and will increase exponentially for larger productions. A certificate of general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000, naming the Laurel Hill Cemetery Company and the Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries as additional insured must be provided to a cemetery representative a minimum of one week in advance of the shoot, along with the signed Site Use Agreement, and required deposit. If these materials are not received at least one week prior, this will warrant an automatic cancellation of the shoot. The balance of required fees must be presented to cemetery staff immediately upon the crew’s arrival on the first day of production.

Shoots taking place during the cemetery’s hours of operation should in no way interfere with normal staff duties or business operations. A cemetery representative will be onsite specifically to oversee all shoots taking place outside of Laurel Hill’s hours of operation. Production crews will not have access to the cemetery’s buildings during after-hours shoots. Outdoor restroom facilities will be available for use.

All still and motion photography productions are responsible for providing their own generators to power their shoots and for any additionally required equipment and supplies.

PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS

To schedule a private Ghost Hunt with your group, download the Private Ghost Hunt Planning Guide and complete this reservation form. A staff person will be in contact shortly after the reservation form is received

GRAVE RUBBINGS

Due to the age and nature of our monuments, grave rubbings of any kind are prohibited. If you are a researcher or a family descendant and would like to learn more about a certain monument or inscription, please contact the office staff at 215-228-8200.