For centuries, most headstones looked fairly similar to one another. Many were simple rectangles, featuring slight variations or rounded tops. In the UK, many headstones were shaped into Latin or Celtic crosses. Often, churches wanted to maintain a uniformity in graveyards.
But we’re now seeing some more unique headstone designs spring up in cemeteries, particularly when people order custom memorials.
Here we offer some inspiration for more modern grave designs, helping you give your loved one a memorial that expresses their personality and celebrates their life.
Modern designs usually use clean lines, resulting in a stylish, sometimes minimalistic look. Many make good use of the impressive realism that can now be achieved on gravestone images.
Above all else though, modern headstones are less likely to conform to convention. They are far more customised than traditional gravestones, making full use of today’s more relaxed internment rules and attitudes around memorials.
While modern grave designs can be much more individual than traditional ones in terms of themes and shape, many still have some characteristics in common.
Changing styles in memorial design raise an important question: what is the best material for a gravestone? It all depends upon the design you have in mind, but granite is one of the most versatile materials.
While materials such as limestone, slate and marble are often used for headstone design, most gravestones made in the UK are now created using granite.
Part of the reason for this is granite’s durability: granite is a sturdy, low-maintenance stone, formed by millions of years of underground pressure. It’s well suited to the British climate. Yet it’s also a beautiful material, available in black, grey, blue, red, brown and other colours.
Thanks to modern stone-cutting techniques, it’s now much quicker and easier to create intricate shapes from stone than in previous years. As a result, people can be much more creative in their choice of memorial. Musical instruments, beloved vehicles and football club crests are just some of the popular choices for modern headstones. It’s now possible to choose headstones that really express a loved one’s personality, reflecting their lifelong passions even after they’ve passed on.
There are also modern twists on more traditional forms, such as trees, angels and pets, which can now be depicted in greater detail due to machine stone-cutting methods. The results can be extremely lifelike and moving.
With a custom headstone, you have complete control over every aspect of the headstone. So you can choose a shape and style that reflects exactly who your loved one was – an option that just didn’t exist until recent years. Our heart-shaped headstones and book-shaped headstones are both popular shapes.
With the help of laser-engraving tools, expert craftsmen can create truly unique gravestones. Many modern memorials now feature highly detailed images, which contrast beautifully against polished headstones, particularly if the material used is black granite. Laser engraving can produce stunning images of the deceased, while clouds and angels are also popular choices.
There are now more options than ever when it comes to gravestones. Our professional team can give you carefully considered grave design ideas, applying years of experience to make sure the memorial is perfect for the individual you’re commemorating. Get in touch with us for professional, compassionate advice.
Memorials of Distinction was the best choice I made to have a headstone made for my dear grandmother. I appreciated their professionalism, their patience when left to make decisions, their advice when it came to wording and layout and their care during such a difficult time. They are always available for any questions asked and always give a prompt reply. They really made the process very easy, even providing a picture when the headstone was installed. My family and I could not recommend Memorials of Distinction enough and appreciate everything they have done especially during a pandemic. Thank you so much Memorials of Distinction.
Channy Google Review: 07/07/2021
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
Wonderful company, service exceptional whole team friendly and informative throughout, every detail attended to promptly. My wife and I, could not have picked a more understanding and compassionate company as Memorials of Distinction. My son’s headstone is all that we expected. A very big thank you
Alan G. Google Review: 24/01/2023
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