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Choosing a Memorial

Choosing a Memorial

Choosing a memorial is a very personal thing and should reflect your memory of your loved one. The memorial should capture the essence of their character and can be informative as to something relevant in their life. It can also give an historical record. (Where somebody was born). It is probably the only time in your life you will have the opportunity to commission something having artistic merit. It is therefore vital that time is taken and advice gained from an experienced mason before making a decision.

There will be certain regulations governing what you may erect on the grave. Memorial masons are obliged to be aware of these and inform you at the time of choosing.

No words can easily convey everything about a person especially on a standard memorial. Simplicity, with fine design and lettering will shine through above cluttered content. A tasteful carving may say more than just words. Quite often the beauty of natural stone and a well balanced inscription lovingly composed and lettered is all that is necessary. Lettering must be legible and we will advise you on the size, style, weight and finish in relation to the chosen material.  

Some stones are fine grained and consistent in basic colour, Welsh slate and black granite for instance, and will receive a fine lightweight letter and carving. Others like Cornish granite and Purbeck fossil stones are more blotchy and can have colour variations which would not be conducive to lightly cut letters and therefore require a bolder approach and possibly some enhancement be it enamel paint or gold leaf etc. Traditionally Cornish granite would have a bold raised lead letter painted black. Letters can also be cut in relief where the background is taken away leaving the letters raised, this can be very effective and maintenance free especially where there is a good contrast between the masoned or sand blasted background and the polished or fine honed face of the letter.

Letter forms themselves are very beautiful and take on a liveliness when set out in a thoughtful and balanced way. Hand carved letters gain a rhythm and life from the care and skill of the mason. They are all slightly different and will contain their own beauty by being so.

Whether machine cut or hand carved a scale or full size drawing is most helpful prior to work commencing. It brings clarity and confidence to both customer and mason and can be used to gain approval from the church and local authorities.

A visit to the grave can also be most helpful to acquire a feeling of what will be a fitting tribute.

The estimated time between ordering and the erection of a memorial will differ according to the availability of the stone and Diocesan or local authority regulations (i.e.) (6 months must elapse following the burial before a headstone may be erected in a churchyard.). If a material is not in stock a delivery time could range from 2 to 4 months. We at E. Gill & Sons (Memorials) Ltd. try to give an estimated completion date on receipt of your order.

Some authorities provide concrete support rafts specifically for headstones. This will have an effect on the type of memorial accepted.
This would make a monolith type headstone (one that is fixed straight into the ground) impractical, although it could be fixed with a block base and ground anchor. All memorials should be fixed to the present NAMM (National Association of Memorial Mason’s) Code of Working Practice.

We will cover all these details during the discussion period.