Whichever style of headstone you choose as a memorial to your departed loved one, the headstone can be made from a wide variety of materials. You could opt for granite, marble, fieldstone, sandstone, iron, bronze, slate or even wood. While the vast majority of headstones are made from stone, whatever material is chosen the term ‘headstone’ can in fact be used as a generic term for a memorial marker on a resting place – regardless of whether your loved one has been buried or cremated.
The material you choose for a headstone depends upon a number of factors including personal taste and choice of design, as some materials are better suited to being carved into intricate, detailed headstones, while others lend themselves to simpler designs. There are also some restrictions imposed by cemeteries and churchyards as to the material used.
Any headstone is built to be a lasting memorial to a much-loved person, so it is worth selecting a material that will last for generations to come. Among the most hard-wearing and durable materials for headstones are granite and marble. Granite headstones in particular will withstand many years of weathering.
Granite is not only a strong and durable stone but a beautiful one too, which comes in several colours including black, light grey, blue pearl and bahama blue. It can also be polished or honed (matte), offering a wide variety of options. Stonemasons can carve unique and high-quality designs into granite, safe in the knowledge that it will look elegant and maintain its appearance for decades to come.
Marble has a distinctive and uniquely striking appearance, its natural white colour standing out brightly on even dull weather days. This makes it a popular choice for headstones – however, it is more prone to becoming dirty over time than granite, and can be susceptible to the effects of rain in the long term. While a marble headstone remains a popular choice, it requires a slightly higher level of maintenance.
Headstones do not only have to be for burials. With the right permission, a headstone can be used as a memorial marker for the burial of cremated remains, or in some rare cases even purely as a memorial without any remains being interred. Every burial ground and cemetery has its own rules, so take a look at our guide to cemeteries and crematoriums in Hertfordshire to find a suitable site near you.
Whatever your chosen material, there are a number of different types of headstone that you can opt for. From heart gravestones and book memorials to kerbed headstones and memorials with benches, there are so many options.
These are commonly made from granite or marble and fixed onto a concrete foundation. They are the most traditional design and are often a height of around 3 feet, which allows plenty of space to include your chosen inscription, pictures and any other features you wish to be incorporated into the design.
These are memorials which include a traditional headstone but can also run the full length of a grave (subject to cemetery regulations). They allow ample space for additional personal expression as well as the inscription on the main headstone. The space across the grave can be used to plant flowers or place items of special significance.
While certain burial grounds will allow you to use other types of memorial to mark the site where cremation ashes are buried, smaller cremation memorials are an enduringly popular choice which offer ample space for pictures, inscriptions and other commemorative features. Many feature a smaller version of the traditional upright headstone.
A very big thank you to everybody involved in getting my sister’s plaque in place before the first anniversary of her burial, it will mean so much to her children.
Your help throughout has been wonderful especially with problems encountered with the local council with delay after delay – every time I called you were very helpful.
Nick M. Sent by email: 11/01/2019
I could not be more grateful for the team at Memorials of Distinction for all they have done for my family and I. Despite having to work through such a horrible time, they still managed to make a difficult process easier. I am particularly pleasure with the response times and our agents genuine kindness and patience when responding to my many emails! The headstone is absolutely beautiful and collectively I truly believe we have done Mum proud. So I thank you again Memorials of Distinction for providing such a beautiful memorial.
Aisha R. Google Review: 25/08/2020
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
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