Guidance For Choosing a Memorial, Headstone or Gravestone

Memorials

A memorial in stone is a lasting tribute to a loved one. It is important, therefore, that before making the decision you are fully informed of the various factors that might affect your choice.

Please take time to read these notes and we will be able to assist you with any further questions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. How long after the burial is the memorial or gravestone erected?
  2. Does the location of memorial affect the choice of design?
  3. Which memorials should be chosen for a cemetery?
  4. Which memorials should be chosen for a churchyard?
  5. What wording should be on the memorial?
  6. How is an inscription or epitaph for a memorial chosen?
  7. Can a design, emblem or picture be engraved on the memorial?
  8. Which style of lettering should be used on the memorial?
  9. Which stone should be chosen for the memorial?
  10. What types of stone are available?
  11. Which types of stone are easier to maintain?
  12. What happens once the memorial design has been chosen?
  13. How is the memorial erected?
  14. Can I see some examples of memorials?
  15. Where should I go for more help and advice?

1. How long after the burial is the memorial or gravestone erected?

We would recommend that it is not advisable to erect a stone until at least six months after the burial as this allows the ground to settle, thus avoiding the possibility of the stone leaning. The six month rule does not apply to cremation memorials or vases.

2. Does the location of memorial affect the choice of design?

Both the design of the memorial and the material from which it is made will be governed by the regulations which apply to the churchyard or cemetery in which it is to be placed. In either case, the proposed memorial will be submitted to the relevant authority for approval before work goes ahead.

3. Which memorials should be chosen for a cemetery?

memorial for a cemetry If the stone is to be place 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.

4. Which memorials should be chosen for a churchyard?

memorial for a churchyard

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.

5. What wording should be on the memorial?

Wording for memorials

The choice of wording on the memorial can be the most personal thing of all and much thought should be given to this. A selection of texts and phrases can be seen in the gallery on this website.

Town Councils often require the mason's nameis discretely engraved on memorials. Our mark is BRETT WATTON.

6. How is an inscription or epitaph for a memorial chosen?

inscriptions and epitaphs for memorials

There are no set rules as to what the inscription on the memorial should be, 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.

7. Can a design, emblem or picture be engraved on the memorial?

Etching and Engravings on memorials

In addition to words, you might wish to have a picture or emblem particular to the person remembered. Our skilled craftsmen will be able to reproduce almost any design you wish, according to 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.

Click here to learn more about etching and engravings

8. Which style of lettering should be used on the memorial?

Memorial Lettering 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.

9. Which stone should be chosen for the memorial?

All of the designs which you will find on this website may be made from a variety of materials. In addition to the cemetery of 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.

Stonemason

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.

10. What types of stone are available?

Black Granite Black Granite
Blue Pearl Granite Blue Pearl Granite
Red Granite Red Granite
Light Grey Granite Light Grey Granite
White Marble White Marble
Dark Grey Granite Dark Grey Granite
Portland Stone Portland Stone
Nabresina Crown Stone Nabresina Crown Stone
York Stone York Stone
Green Slate Green Slate
Serena Stone Serena Stone
Grey Slate Grey Slate

There is a wide choice of other material and colours available.

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.

11. Which types of stone are easier to maintain?

stone masonYou 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.

12. What happens once the memorial design has been chosen?

Memorials by stonemasons Memorials by stonemasons Memorials by stonemasons

Once you have chosen a design and decided upon wording and illustration that it should carry, our craftsmen will work to the highest standard to ensure the materials, the artwork and the engraving are of the highest standard.

Our memorials are made in our workshops in Watton, Norfolk. You are welcome to come and see us at work. All our memorials are individually made and the lettering hand finished so that the memorial is a unique and fitting tribute to your loved one.

13. How is the memorial erected?

Memorials by stonemasons Once a memorial has been chosen we will apply to the church or cemetery authorities on your behalf, for permission to erect the stone on the grave (a fee is usually paid to the authorities at this time).

We will ensure that the stone is properly erected on a concrete foundation with due care and dignity and respect to the person it commemorates.

All our memorials are fitted using using fixing methods authorised National Association of Stone Mason. We hold a B.R.A.M.M. fixers licence

14. Can I see some examples of memorials?

Please browse this website to see many examples of memorials we have produced and to learn about the many services our memorial masons can provide. Browse Memorials.

15. Where should I go for more help and advice?

You are welcome to visit our workshop and show room for inspection of memorials and we can discuss your individual requirements. We will be able to answer any questions you have and advise you on how to choose a fitting memorial. Click here to contact us

National Association of Monumental Masons BRAMM British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons

H Brett & Son
75 Norwich Road
Watton
Thetford
Norfolk IP25 6DH

Tel : 01953 881 501

M B Howell
72 Holt Road
Fakenham
Norfolk NR21 8DY
Tel : 01328 864438

A F Holman & Son
59A Railway Road
King's Lynn
Norfolk PE30 1NE
Tel : 01553 772842

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