Choosing A Memorial

Choosing a memorial for our loved ones can be a difficult experience, our aim is to reduce the time it requires by giving you as much advice as possible all in one place so that you are well prepared.

You’ll find memorials in your local churchyards that have been around for centuries. Your choice of material will determine just how long your memorial lasts.

Granite is the preferred choice for most memorial masons. Granite is tougher than most other materials, not just those used for memorials; tougher than most materials full stop! It comes in a huge variety of colours which allows us to choose something that suits the character of the person we’re memorialising. Granite can be polished to give it a clean and modern look and by doing so it makes the surface inpeneratable to dirt and stains. By choosing granite we are not only ensuring that our memorial survives the test of time but we are also limiting the expense of maintaining it.

Other material options include Marble, York Stone, Slate and a few others with similar properties. In some cases a local authority or church may insist on one of these materials to maintain a consistent look within their burial grounds. We’d recommend against choosing any of these materials unless you have no other choice. They’re extremely porous and considerably softer than granite. With time memorials made from these materials will become stained, or worse still, they’ll begin to laminate or crumble.

We must consider how many people will be memorialised on the headstone we choose? This should dictate the size of the memorial. We often see people confuse how many people will be using the headstone with how many burials or internments the plot can accommodate. These are two different things entirely. We often see cremation plots for four people used only by two. The same can apply for burial plots.

We would recommend thinking about this prior to choosing a memorial. An average sized memorial should accommodate three to four inscriptions of modest nature. Although it’s not uncommon for us to see only two inscriptions consisting of more detail on an average sized memorial.

Most cemeteries will have their own rules regarding size, shape, colour and material. The last three aren’t often a concern for most council run cemeteries, but churchyards are, in our experience, very particular about what they permit. We’d recommend asking for a copy of your cemeteries rules and regulations prior to starting your search for a memorial.

Most memorials can be altered. We’ve never been unable to produce something that a customer has asked of us. Granite is incredibly tough but we have some of the best carvers in the world and they produce some of the most beautiful and intricate memorials. If you see a memorial on our website, on a search engine or even on another memorial masons website, but you wish to change it to make it more personal or bespoke; we can do it!

Your choice of inscription colour should be made AFTER you have decided what colour material you’d like. The inscription colour should enhance the natural colour of your memorial. Gold, Silver and White work best on black granite, and they should all last as long as one another. If you choose a light stone, such as a light grey, you may choose to have a black enamel inscription to provide a greater contrast, allowing greater visibility of the engraving.

We have a lot of people ask us for full grave surrounds, also known as kerbs. You’d need to establish if your grave plot is suitable for kerbs. An easy way to find this is out to see other memorials in the immediate vicinity. If they have kerbs then it’s likely that you too will be permitted to have them, Although we’d still recommend discussing it with the council or church. We can make all such enquiries if you would prefer.

Key Considerations:

  • How many people will the memorial be for?
  • What size do I need/want?
  • What material and/or colour do I want?

These should be the first questions you ask yourself. Once you have the answers almost everything else will fall into place.