Choosing a headstone for a loved one is not an easy decision. There are now so many options available – in terms of materials, shape, style and more – that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Here we’ll take you through various gravestone types, helping you to identify the perfect style for your loved one.
Headstones have been used for centuries, marking the position of graves with a durable, heavy slab of stone that will stay in place for some time, if left undisturbed. Friends and family members then have a focal point for visiting the deceased and paying their respects to them.
Including the individual’s name, date of birth and date of death on the headstone makes it easy to locate their place of rest, for visitors of all kinds. Headstones – also known as gravestones and tombstones – provide a space to pay tribute to the deceased through an epitaph, poem or engraved image.
In days gone by, there were very few types of gravestone available, particularly for ordinary people. Now there’s a much wider variety, from traditional upright gravestones to memorials that incorporate benches and everything in between. With customised options available, there are endless possibilities.
But what type of headstone is best? That all depends upon the style that best fits your loved one and the space you need to remember them in the manner you want to.
This is still one of the most common headstone types and probably what most people think of when they hear the word ‘gravestone’.
The upright slab of stone, where inscriptions are made, is called the die. It sits upon a stone base and is usually between two and three feet tall. Companion headstones are wider and are used for resting places for more than one person.
You can choose from various styles for the top of the die, including a flat top, a pointed roof top, a curved oval top or an undulating serpentine top.
In addition to including an upright die, kerbed headstones cover the whole grave, with a stone border around its edges. The part inside the border can be filled with plants, soil or, for lower maintenance, a matching stone cover slab or chippings.
Some people choose kerbed headstones and memorials because they provide more space for remembering the deceased: through epitaphs or grave decorations like statues, etchings and vases. You can also place items of special significance on this type of memorial.
Although larger memorials are available for various budgets, sometimes the question friends and family have to ask is this: what is the cheapest headstone? The flat headstone – sometimes called a tablet memorial – is usually the answer. They lie flat on the ground, but will sometimes have raised elements, with books a common choice to provide a little more decoration.
If your loved one has been cremated rather than buried, cremation memorials can mark their final resting place.
There are a wide variety of styles available. Some appear like smaller versions of traditional upright headstones, while others are more like plaques. Designs with urns and vases are commonplace, providing a place where ashes can be kept and visited.
Whichever style you choose, there will be plenty of space for inscriptions, pictures and other commemorative features.
Just as some people choose to remember loved ones with park benches, you can also commemorate someone with a bench at a burial ground or cemetery. They can either sit atop the place where ashes have been interred or provide a space to house the ashes. Like headstones, they are often made of durable granite, which can be polished and comes in various colours.
No matter what style or material you choose for a cremation bench, they provide a peaceful place where friends and family can sit while they remember the deceased.
When it comes to memorials, there are now more options than ever. 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.
I was really pleased with my husband’s memorial.. all of the staff (especially Natalie and Sim) were extremely helpful and kind during a very tough time. Thank you so much!
Alanna W. Google Review: 13/03/2021
You made a difficult occasion and one done via e-mail very easy, dealing with all our special requests stone, colour, design etc. Communication and requests were always clear and your response to any queries always helpful, supportive and timely. The headstone is in place as advised and it looks beautiful.
Jenny O. Google Review: 17/03/2020
I can’t thank Memorials of Distinction enough for producing such a beautiful headstone. It was everything and more, that I had asked for. Everyone in the family was very happy and impressed. So thank you again for that miracle.
Lesley, you personally were so kind and understanding throughout the whole process, I’m convinced you may have wings.
Helen D. Sent by email: 11/06/2019
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