Our dedicated staff are here to answer your calls and emails, orders are being processed and we are now able to fix memorials in most cemeteries.
Our Dunstable showroom is open for business as usual, however, we would strongly recommend that customers book an appointment to avoid the possibility of having to wait. We can only allow one family group at a time in the showroom (max 3 people per group).
The London (Finchley) showroom is open Monday to Saturday by appointment only at the moment.
Appropriate PPE will be worn, social distancing observed and hand sanitiser will be made available to customers.
Home Visit Service
We are still offering our home visit service to customers but with the following precautions: Our Rep will wear a mask and we ask that you also do so. Where possible, consultations should take place outdoors, ie in the garden. Where this is not an option, we ask that seating is arranged in a way that social distancing can be observed. We also ask that the number of customers present at the meeting is kept to a minimum.
It is often the case that a couple will want to be interred in the same place. When this is the case we will lay out the lettering, designs and photos on your chosen memorial so that it leaves space for an additional inscription of similar size. A book memorial or triple heart is a great way to achieve this.
Yes. You will need to make the shipping arrangements yourself but we are happy to liaise with an agent about timings and crate up your memorial ready for collection. There is a cost associated with this, so contact us for a quote once you have decided which memorial you would like.
We estimate that orders for our standard designs will take approximately 12 weeks to manufacture & deliver.
This estimate begins from the date we have received both the cemetery or church permit and your second instalment rather than from the date you place your order. The process of obtaining a permit is carried out by us on your behalf and is generally straightforward. If you are having a more unusual style or size of memorial it can take longer to clarify the details with the cemetery and obtain permission which will affect the final delivery/fixing date.
We always endeavour to complete your order as quickly as possible but there are some factors over which have have no control, such as shipping and council response times. This means that some orders will take less than 12 weeks but others may take more. We will always keep you informed about the progress of your order.
If your order is for a non-standard memorial, it is very likely that the manufacturing & delivery time will be greater than 12 weeks.
Most of the order process can be carried out over the phone or by email. However, we do need the grave owners signature on the order form so we post these to your address with a pre-paid envelope for you to return the signed documents to us.
The letters for your inscription can be simply cut into the stone and left plain or they can be painted black, white, silver or gilded with gold leaf. They are all equally resillient to the weather but conditions will vary from location to location so the colour chosen should be based simply on personal choice. It is also worth noting that lettering which is placed on flat surfaces (ie on the top of a headstone base) will weather more quickly than those on the face of the headstone.
The ground requires time to settle after a burial so it is important to wait before installing your memorial. A headstone can usually be erected on a grave six months after the last burial has taken place but a period of 1 year is most common. If cremated remains are interred in a grave, a headstone may be fixed after 3-6 months, as the ground requires less settling time but this can vary. If you tell us which cemetery/crematorium your memorial will be installed in, we can find out the specific rules for you and advise accordingly.
The items included will be clearly explained in the description text for each product along with the ‘Included in the Price’ section. We also have an ‘Additional Costs’ section on all products where it is relevant. As a general guide, extra costs can include: Cemetery fees, additional sandblasted designs, photo plaques, extra letters (beyond the 80 you get free), bespoke sizes, kerbset chippings etc. We will give you a detailed quote showing all fees and itemised costs, so you know exactly what the bottom line is before placing your order.
Memorials of Distinction believe that purchasing a memorial headstone is such an important decision that it is not suited to an on-line ‘add to my basket’ type of purchase. There are also many variables in the process which will affect your order, for example what is allowed by your particular cemetery and whether your inscription will fit on the memorial you have chosen.
It is possible to order over the phone or by email using the details on our Contact Page where our staff will be able to help and advise you.
We also offer a home visit service which is completely free of charge and obligation. One of our knowledgeable staff will visit you in the comfort and privacy of your home to help you to choose a design, decide on an appropriate wording and answer any other questions you may have.
Any administration or correspondence with local authorities, cemeteries or church authorities is dealt with by Memorials of Distinction on your behalf – you will not have to worry about this aspect of the process.
We quote for inscriptions by character/letter rather than words. All our memorials include 80 letters for free but how many words this translates to will depend on your individual inscription text. Each character beyond the 80 included will cost £1.95 on Granite, Marble, Portland Stone or Nabresina. These would be cut & gold leaf or painted black/silver/white, if you require lead lettering please contact us for a quote. Additional inscriptions being added to existing memorials will cost more and are priced on an individual basis.
Our standard terms for payment are as follows:
20% Deposit when memorial ordered as above.
75% of balance plus burial ground fee payable when permit received from cemetery or church authority. Obtaining permit takes on average 2-3 weeks from first installment.
Final balance payable on completion (ie. when memorial is in place, approximately 12 weeks after receipt of second installment).
Cemetery or Crematoria fees are not a standard price but if you tell us the grave location details we will be able to find out for you. Alternatively the cemetery would be able to give you the information directly if you prefer to call them yourself.
Once you have placed an order, the process of obtaining a permit is carried out by us on your behalf and is generally straightforward.
Standard overall height for most memorials are 2ft 6″ or 3ft but we can customise our designs to whatever size or material you need, subject to availability and approval by the cemetery. The prices in our Value Memorial range are just for the sizes/materials shown but contact us for a quote if you need slightly different.
Yes, this is possible but will depend on the regulations at your cemetery. We will be able to check this and advise further when we do your quotation. All memorials need to have an approved permit from the cemetery before we begin to manufacture them.
The photograph you choose should be clear and preferably of a high print quality. We can remove backgrounds and other people from the photo if necessary. Try to choose a photo which is not blurred or damaged in any way.
Consider whether the photo would best suit a landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) photo plaque. In some cases your choice is restricted by the size/shape of your stone and the quantity of inscription text, if you are unsure please contact our staff and they will advise you.
For more detailed information about the format and size of photos, see our downloadable guide.
If the particular shape or style of memorial you would like is not in our standard collection, we will be happy to work with you to create something bespoke. Whether it is just swapping one type of vase or statue for another or creating a whole new design, we have the expertise to guide you through it. Call or email us to discuss in more detail or use our Live Chat feature on the bottom right of your screen.
You can order our designs in many different materials, the most popular being Black or Grey Granite. Some Cemeteries and Graveyards have restrictions on which materials can be used, this is something we would clarify before you place an order. Please see our Materials & Finishes page for colour swatches and more details.
Most of our memorial designs can be manufactured in a different colour/material to the one shown. See our Materials & Finishes page for more information on what is available. There may be some restrictions placed on your choice of material by the cemetery or churchyard. We will be able to advise you about that once you tell us where your loved one is to be interred. The price for memorials made from non-standard material will vary from the ones shown on our website so please contact us for a quote.
Standard overall height for most memorials are 2ft 6″ or 3ft but we can customise our designs to whatever size or material you need, subject to availability and approval by the cemetery.
A marker is usually a wooden cross or stick with a name or grave number on it, which is placed at the site of a grave after burial. After about a year, when the ground has settled, a headstone or kerb set can be installed on the grave. These will be made from stone, are decorative and are a more permanent fixture to commemorate your loved one.
This very much depends on the size and material of your chosen headstone. We have memorial stones to suit every budget. If you take a look at our Value Memorials range you will see that they start as low as £680 and go up to many thousands for large custom memorials with lots of extras. If you are keen to keep costs low, it is best to choose a simple shape in black granite and use your free 80 letter allowance for the inscription. Optional extras like photo plaques, statues and other decorative items create a more personalised memorial.
Kerbs are a line of stone which forms a rectangular edge covering the whole grave. This is usually made from the same stone as the headstone but can be changed for a contrasting material if preferred. The centre area can be filled with coloured glass chippings, soil or a cover slab according to your taste.
Most of our memorials will be able to fit a photo plaque but this very much depends on two things: 1) the size of memorial you have chosen and 2) the quantity of inscription text you wish to add. We will be able to advise on this before you place your order and if necessary show you a mock-up to confirm the fit. As a guide, the standard photo plaque is an 10cm x 8cm oval.
This depends greatly on the style of memorial you have chosen. We have a minimum size of lettering which we adhere to but all our designs allow enough room for names, dates and a short verse at the minimum. If you have a lot of text you wish to add to a small/cremation memorial then we would advise you avoid heart-shaped headstones and large sandblasted designs. Adding a freestanding block vase to your memorial can be a handy way of adding more inscription space.
Yes, we can put a small graveside surround called ‘Garden Kerbs’ around any headstone, providing the cemetery gives permission. We will be able to advise you on this and apply for a permit on your behalf.
A pale blue or pink paint is often used for children’s memorials and works very well. We can accommodate most colour requests for lettering and sandblasted designs. Our experienced staff can advise on the longevity and suitability of your chosen colour when we put together your quotation.
Yes, absolutely! We can create completely bespoke stones according to your needs. We have created fully carved teddy headstones, replica cartoon characters and even memorials in the shape of the deceased’s initial. Call us to talk through your ideas.
Factory & Showroom (Head Office)
The Memorial Works
Southfields Road Dunstable LU6 3EP