A memorial is a tradition that goes back to the beginning of civilisation. It preserves the memory of a loved one, and marks a persons life, becoming for many people a visible link between their departed one and themselves.
We can supply new memorials and offer a consultation service, free of charge, at the clients home or place of convenience.
As a headstone is a lasting tribute to a loved one, it is very important that the right choice is made and the correct advice is given. We understand that this may take time to finalise.
As part of our service we can offer:
- Advice and guidance on choosing your memorial and inscription
- Creation of unique and bespoke carvings on traditional stones
- Draft inscription layouts, which you can approve before committing to your choice
- Information on memorial care
- Advice on Memorial Insurance
- Advise on Church and Local Authority regulations and fees, which can vary enormously
- 10 Year Guarantee (covering material flaws)
Choice of Material
Granite is an extremely hard, durable rock, being almost unaltered by any form of weathering. For memorial use it comes in many beautiful colours mainly from Scandinavia, India, China and Africa. It can be carved and shaped to suit most requirements and is virtually maintenance free. An occasional wipe down keeps the memorial clean and bright.
Soft stones, such as Limestone, Sandstone and Italian Marble all offer their own unique properties and colours, but are not as durable and long-lasting as granite. They need to be professionally cleaned regularly to keep them looking fresh.
Cemeteries usually allow coloured polished granites and soft stones, although different local authorities stipulate minimum and maximum sizes. Permit forms and appropriate fees need to be submitted for approval. Once obtained and signed by the Grave Owner, the permit becomes the Grave Deeds with a plot number.
Churchyard memorials are subject to more regulations than cemeteries. Soft stones and some granites, both with matt finishes, are generally acceptable but usually with strict requirements (e.g. only certain colours and all with matt honed finish).
A Vicar can permit a straightforward memorial that fits current Diocesan regulations, but these do often change. More elaborate stones need to obtain a faculty (permission), which can be a lengthy and expensive business. We would be happy to support and help in this matter.
The ground has to settle for six months after an internment, before a headstone can be erected. We can offer temporary loan of a stone flower vase to enable flowers to be placed on the grave during this time.
Memorial Inscriptions and Ornamentation
Cemeteries allow a wide variety of lettering styles (fonts), and these can be painted in many colours. High-quality gold leaf, silver, black and cream enamels tend to be the most popular.
Most ornamentations, such as animals, flowers, scenery, vehicles, etc. can be painted, but prices do vary according to complexity. We have many examples available to view.
Photo-plaques can also be fitted, but local authority regulations apply, so please check with your local authority first.
Churchyards may well stipulate font style, regulate the lettering colours, and vet the overall inscription. Ornamentation is generally strictly governed, and seldom allows brightly painted designs.
Restoration and Repair of Memorials
We can inspect and report on existing memorials in preparation for additional inscriptions and remedial work.
We offer a re-fixing service to inspect, report and repair unsafe memorials using an accredited ground anchor system that meets the Standards of the NAMM code of working practice.
We can provide a restoration service to clean and repair/refinish letters, and a bespoke service to match and add extra inscriptions to existing memorials.
We also offer a service of re-erecting memorials deemed unsafe by relevant authorities.