A headstone is an everlasting memorial that marks a person’s burial plot. It should represent their life and personality. Headstones need not necessarily be expensive. They are not required as part of the funeral itself. Typically they are erected a minimum of six months after the burial. This is to give the ground time to settle in order to give the ground time to settle; however, this period can be longer in certain circumstances. The stonemason should be able to provide advice and help. In the event of a cremation no waiting time is required. There are various legal regulations surrounding both cemetery and churchyard burials. In addition, each parish or council may have their own rules and requirements that must be met before the funeral takes place. It may be with regard to materials and finishes. So it is essential that you check if there are any specific requirements that you have to meet and obtain permission.
The costs of a headstone will vary according to the size, material, finish and lettering. Delivery costs can be high. Some stonemasons will only deliver within a certain radius. Some granite colours are only available in certain quarries which might involve shipment from overseas.
The inscription is the most important part of the headstone. The message should be short, dignified and summarise their life. There are three common ways of delivering this message through the stone:
- engravings that are directly carved it
- memorial plaques that are attached to it and
- metal or ceramic letters that are attached to it.
Most cemeteries require the fixer to be licensed by organisations such as The British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM) or The National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM).
QR (Quick Response) Codes can be included within headstones. When scanned by a suitable app they will take the user to a website that gives details of the loved one buried there. More details here.
Over time the headstone will need cleaning, A useful guide can be found here.
The Headstone Guide is a comprehensive guide to choosing a headstone. It covers the types available, an indication of costs, materials and finishes, design considerations as well as inscriptions, rules and regulations and also how to preserve and clean the various types of headstones available.
GravestonesHQ provides a lot of information about the origin of headstones, materials, designs, inscriptions, rules and regulations and history as well as other topics.