The price of adding an inscription to a headstone in the UK depends on the amount of lettering. It costs around £1.95 per letter or character when added to a new memorial. Some stonemasons offer free lettering (up to 80 letters) with a headstone. Please see our guide on the regulations of adding a second name to a headstone.
You can choose the material of the headstone:
You can also choose the colour of the text:
An inscription on a headstone is designed to be read for generations to come, a lasting memorial to your loved one. The words should be a fitting tribute — carefully chosen to reflect the love felt for the departed by their family, and to mark an end to their life. With the importance of the right wording on your mind, along with the fact that you are grieving, it is no wonder that people feel overwhelmed.
We’ve put together a guide to help you to create an affordable and fitting tribute to your loved one.
Sometimes the most pure and simple inscription works the best. Perhaps your loved one was a modest person or perhaps they were a traditionalist — reflecting their personality is something to consider.
Just a few words can really stand out and carry a weight of emotion. An example is simply saying their name, dates and: ‘So dearly loved’.
A few well-chosen words can also highlight something special about a person, with the focus on that one thing — whether that was that they were a wonderful parent, their passion for animals or their strong religious faith.
An epitaph is a statement inscribed onto the headstone and they usually are words about the person’s roles in life. For example:
Uplifting quotes that make visiting mourners smile are also comforting, such as:
Religious sentiments can reflect your departed loved one’s spiritual views, which can be of great comfort to those who are mourning for them, for example:
Here are some examples of comforting Bible verses:
You can see some more inscription examples here.
If inscribing a headstone that will be placed in a churchyard, you need to check any restrictions or inscription etiquette with the church before the process is started. At Memorials of Distinction, we deal with church authorities on your behalf to save you a job at this difficult time and to make sure that the headstone and inscription you choose will be accepted.
There have been alleged instances in the media of churches refusing inscriptions, although this is rare.
There is no Catholic Church policy on what can and can’t be inscribed on headstones and the Church of England has no unified rules. However, the 42 dioceses within the Church of England have their own churchyard regulations, including rules about wording.
For example, the Diocese of Oxford allows nicknames, but only in inverted commas and states: “inscriptions must be simple, reverent and theologically acceptable; they may include appropriate quotations from the scriptures or literary sources.”
The Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order of 1977 allows Church of England bishops the right to object to an inscription on memorials, but doesn’t provide any guidelines.
For local authority plots, the Department for Constitutional Affairs provides guidance which includes ‘informal memorialisation’ but not what can and cannot be inscribed on a headstone.
For some visual inspiration, take a look at some of our inscriptions and see how they fit on a variety of headstones. If you choose a smaller headstone, or one with an ornate or intricate design, the long poem you had chosen may not fit. As you can see, inscriptions should be designed alongside the composition of the chosen headstone:
For a joint family memorial, there are a number of options, including these interlocking heart inscriptions.
For a long poem you will need the extra space, so a traditional headstone is an option.
This is an example of an informal and poignant personal message, finished with loving kisses etched into the stone.
For more inscriptions, you can download our PDF examples.
5 stars does not do Memorials of Distinction justice. Right from the moment of enquiring for a brochure through to the memorial being fixed into place, their dedicated team could not be more helpful. There is no pressure from any of the sales team. Everything is taken at your own pace when you are ready. Nothing is too much trouble making you feel at ease asking anything regarding the memorial. Their craftsmanship is second to none and they have handled everything for us causing as little distress as possible with such a sensitive matter. I cannot recommend Memorials of Distinction enough.
St. Leonards Church, Stoke on Trent.
Ann S. Google Review: 01/12/2020
I just wanted to offer my thanks to you all for the lovely work that went into the memorial stone I ordered for my parents, it looks so much better than I ever thought it could. The whole process was made so easy for me, both in written and telephone correspondence. Please relay my thanks to everyone. I am very, very pleased and will definitely be recommending Memorials of Distinction in the future.
Jacqueline O Sent by email: 18/03/2019
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
Factory & Showroom (Head Office)
The Memorial Works
Southfields Road Dunstable LU6 3EP