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.
Can recommend Memorials of Distinction without hesitation. A wonderful team who made the whole process very manageable and less daunting, resulting in a beautiful memorial stone for my parents. They even provided some photos once the stone had been installed so I could see it before visiting in person, which was so moving and made my day. All in all, a credit to the profession.
Karen G. Google Review: 08/02/2023
My siblings and I would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts on the replacement headstone after our mother passed away last year and joined our dad. We used your company for our dads original headstone and so it was a no brainier to use you again. The black granite open book headstone is absolutely gorgeous and very well professionally made to a very high standard. I was even fortunate enough to be given a chunk of the old headstone with my dads picture on it. Thank you so much for all your help from start to finish. I will highly recommend your company to anyone that asks.
Maggie M. Google Review: 17/05/2023
We are very pleased with the service that Memorials of Distinction provided, especially at a difficult time when it was not always easy to think clearly. We appreciate your patience and help throughout. The memorial looks even better than I imagined, especially the etching. Thank you for all your help.
This was a bespoke memorial.
Mortlake Cemetery, London SW14
Judi M. Google Review: 10/03/2022
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