Simply walk past a cemetery or browse large collections of headstones online and you’ll notice the huge variety of headstone shapes available. With such a wide range of memorial headstones on offer, it can make an already difficult decision even more challenging. Read on to find out more about the perfect headstone shape to honour your loved one.
There are a variety of different headstone shapes to choose from because everyone is different. Finding a headstone that truly speaks to and represents a loved one is so important to many people. After all, it marks their final resting place and is a permanent memory of their life. This is why there are so many different shapes and sizes of headstones. Whether you opt for a traditional or more unique shape, it’s all about showing love for special people in your life.
There isn’t a ‘best’ headstone as each memorial is designed to honour someone’s loved one. However, commonly popular materials are granite and marble headstones. These are hardy materials that can withstand the test of time and will look just as beautiful in many years to come. In regards to the shape of the headstone, it’s entirely up to personal preference and what best represents an individual.
Traditional headstone shapes still come in a variety of different sizes and designs, meaning you can keep it traditional whilst adding a personal element for your loved one. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular traditional headstone shapes.
One of the most popular modern headstone shapes. The square top features a flat top, creating a sleek and clean square shape. The simple design is elegant and adds a wonderful, simplistic finish to a grave. There are multiple variations of the square top including rounded shoulders, scotia shoulders, splayed shoulders or gothic shoulders. These slightly different finishes give a unique look to the headstone.
Ogee headstones appear very elegant thanks to the curved finish at the top. A slightly more unique take on the traditional square top, the ogee top headstone offers a softer visual finish. Again, you can personalise ogee headstones with several variations including checked shoulders that add some dimension to the otherwise smooth curve.
Another very traditional headstone, the oval or arc design features a subtly rounded top. Many people will be familiar with and recognise this headstone which has a vintage, timeless look. There are also variations to oval top headstones including scotia and checked shoulders.
The half-round top headstone is another popular variation of the arc top but with a more stark and dramatic shape. The continuous curve extends across the entire top of the headstone and doesn’t straighten out until it reaches the sides. This design is often associated with appearing whimsical and remains a popular choice.
The serpentine top headstone features a raised curve that drops diagonally across one side. This elegant design brings a flowing finish that will create a beautiful final resting place.
For a strong and striking design, many may opt for the peon top headstone. This features a sloped point at the top of the headstone that is common in modern and old cemeteries alike. There are also a few variations of the peon top headstone including offset peon top and checked shoulders.
Similar to the sharp, flat angles of the square top, the checked top headstone features an upper portion raised in a square shape. The angular, dramatic shape of the checked top brings a unique element whilst keeping things sleek and simple. The checked top headstone can appear in curved, ogee and peon variations.
The raised shoulder headstone offers a modern take on the traditional square top, featuring a raised portion on the left or right side. The small shoulder can be engraved with a unique design.
Whilst unique bespoke headstone shapes wouldn’t be seen in the past, they are quickly becoming popular due to the advances in memorial stonemasonry. These stand-out shapes are a great way to acknowledge a loved one’s unique personality.
The shape of a heart is an instantly recognisable symbol of love, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular headstone shape. A heart headstone might be chosen to honour someone close to you or a triple heart headstone might be chosen for a family.
A book headstone is a beautiful way to share an inscription that’s meaningful to your departed loved one. Religious beliefs can often be represented on a book headstone and it has plenty of space for a meaningful detailed tribute.
A cross-shaped headstone is a more traditional shape used to represent one’s religious beliefs. They can be a wonderful final honour to a religious loved one and come in a wide variety of different designs.
A carved statue headstone is a beautiful way to mark a loved one’s final resting shape. Often used to represent religious beliefs, guardian angels are a common design that’s crafted by talented stonemasons. The exquisite carving is often believed to protect the grave.
If a friend or family member had a unique interest that meant a lot to them, a themed headstone could be a wonderful tribute. Anything from motorcycles to a love for animals can be beautifully represented on a gravestone. A huge range of bespoke designs can be created using talented stonemasons.
Glass-shaped headstones are growing in popularity amongst those who had a passion for beer in their life. A stout glass is a wonderful idea for those with Celtic roots. Often seen as a fun, whimsical way to honour a loved one.
With such a wide range of headstones to choose from, it can be difficult to make a final decision. It’s important to consider the following:
At Memorials of Distinction, we understand how difficult it is to choose a headstone during challenging times. For helpful advice on our range of memorials, please contact our friendly expert team today.
I would like to thank you for the efficient and friendly way in which you have dealt with the order. I have been to the cemetery and the memorial looks absolutely beautiful. If my family are looking down, they would be very proud of my legacy to them. Thank you once again for all your help.
M J Beczkowicz Extract of a letter sent by post: 05/09/2020
Thanks Anne-Marie the memorial looks beautiful and a fitting tribute to my beloved mum and uncle. Thank you so much for carrying out the work despite all the difficulties you must have faced with the lockdown.
Appreciate all the efforts by you and the team!
Miguel M. Sent by email: 26/03/2020
I would just like to say a massive thank you to everyone, especially to the stonemason! We are absolutely delighted with our sons headstone. We’ve waited such a long time to purchase it, but we are thrilled with it! The detail that’s gone into it is just incredible.
Thank you to everyone that I spoke to along the way, everyone was always so helpful and the communication was brilliant. I will not hesitate to recommend you to anyone!
Natalie L. Sent by email: 02/02/2018
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