It is not advisable to erect a stone until at least eight months after the burial as this allows the ground to settle, thus avoiding the possibility of the stone leaning. We recommend that the memorial is on grave in time for the first anniversary of the death.
Both the design of the memorial and the material from which it is made will be governed by the regulations in place at the churchyard or cemetery in which it is to be erected. Either way, the proposed memorial will be submitted to the relevant authority for approval before any work goes ahead.
If the stone is to be placed in a public cemetery the local council may have provided you with an outline of the regulations when you purchased the grave. If not we will be able to advise you.
If the stone is to be placed in a churchyard some general rules apply. For example, kerbing, statuary and book designs are not permitted. Marble and polished granite are also not allowed. Our stone memorials are specifically designed with churchyard regulations in mind. Again, we will be able to advise you in each specific case.
The choice of wording on the memorial can be the most personal thing of all and much thought should be given to this.
There are no set rules as to what the inscription on the memorial should read, however for memorials in churchyards it is suggested that the inscription is simple, dignified and reverent. The church does not like the use of slang or abbreviations. If an epitaph is desired the church may request that it has a biblical meaning, is taken from a hymn or reflects the life and work of the deceased.
In addition to words, you might wish to have a picture or emblem particular to the person remembered. Our masons will be able to reproduce almost any design you wish, dependent on the stone you choose, to produce a truly unique memorial. We can even create an etching copied from a cherished photograph or a favourite image that represents their life.
We will be able to advise you on the style of letterings for the memorial. A Roman font is a classic choice. A heading in Olde English can be very distinctive, while italics might be used for a quote from a poem or religious text.
All memorials may be made from a variety of materials. In addition to the cemetery or churchyard’s regulations, the location of the actual grave may be a factor. In an exposed area, such as an open hillside, a memorial in a softer stone such as Portland might weather more quickly than one in granite. A marble material could stain if erected in a wooded area.
Different types of stone also lead to different types of lettering. Generally letters are incised and painted with enamel, with black or silver being the most popular colours. A dark granite memorial lends itself to cut and gilded lettering.
In the case of stone memorials, letters may be cut and left natural. Lead letters are also available. We will be able to assist you with your choice.
You can choose from different colour granites, natural stones, slates and marble.
The variety of colour is dependent on the mineral and conditions present when the rock was formed. Some stones may be more widely available than others at certain times. The finished surface can be polished, honed or even rustic.
You might also wish to consider how much time you will be able to devote to looking after the memorial. Some types of stone are harder wearing or easier to clean than others. For example a polished granite memorial can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. A marble memorial may in time require special treatment to restore it to its full glory. Letters carved into granite will retain their sharpness for many years. Letters carved into stone may one day require recutting.
Once you have chosen a design and decided upon the wording and illustration it should carry, an application will be submitted to the relevant authority for permission for the memorial to be erected. Once granted, our masons will work to the highest standard to ensure that all materials, the artwork and the engraving are of the highest possible standard.
We will ensure that the stone is properly erected on a concrete or granite foundation with due care and dignity and in respect to the person it commemorates.
All our memorials are fitted using fixing methods authorised by NAMM & BRAMM, and all our fixers hold a BRAMM fixers licence (see Trade Associations heading in this section of the website).