There are a large variety of designs to consider when choosing a stone memorial for yourself or a loved one. Some people prefer a traditional upright headstone, while others choose to cover the entire grave space. The type and colour of the stone also needs to be taken into consideration.
The most common form of headstone is a headstone on a base. Headstones may be shaped in various ways. Some stones may be available with a built in flower vase in the base.
Memorials which cover the whole area of the grave are also available and these define the grave space.
Kerbsets provide raised edges that mark the area of the grave, allowing family and friends of the deceased to plant flowers within the space of the grave without the risk of them becoming a maintenance problem for the burial authority.
When choosing the style of a headstone it is also advisable to decide on the inscription and engravings. This can be in most cases anything you choose, although it is necessary to find out what your chosen stonemason is able to include. It is important to highlight that you will have to take into account any limitations imposed by your local authority or diocese. We have a section on popular epitaphs for your guidance.
Whether you choose to mark a grave with an upright or flat memorial, it is important to consider the type of stone used in the design. Granite is the most popular as it is particularly hard wearing, an important factor as headstones often face the elements on all sides. However other stones such as marble, sandstone, limestone and slate are also commonly available. Different styles, colours, shapes and textures of stone are available to make the headstone unique.
Each cemetery or churchyard will have a different regulation on the style, shape and colour of headstone they allow. It is necessary to check with the Burial Authorities before committing to a particular headstone as they will not allow it if it does not adhere to their rules. A reputable stonemason will be able to advise you on this.
It is necessary to keep in mind that the upkeep of the headstone is the responsibility of the family of the deceased and not of the Burial Authority.