Choosing a Memorial

Because a memorial is a lasting monument and a tribute to a person's life, perhaps a final gift to someone dearly loved, it is important to choose it carefully.

Hasty decisions made while still in great distress can sometimes result in later regrets, so it can be sensible to wait - and to spend time on selecting a suitable design. At WP Everingham & Sons we can help you with every step of the way.

Regulations on the type of memorial you can choose

As a general rule cemeteries will allow any shape and colour of headstone and plaques, but may have restrictions on the height and wording permitted. Churchyards are more restrictive and regulations can vary slightly depending on the area that the churchyard is in, but a general rule is only grey granite or natural stone headstones under 2’6” in overall height are allowed, with lettering (other than gold and silvered) and a small motif that reflects the deceased’s hobbies or life style. At WP Everingham & Sons, our National Associations of Memorial Masons (NAMM) approved memorial masons will talk you through the regulations for your cemetery or churchyard, helping you to choose a memorial that suits the environment as well as your requirements.

Obtaining Permission

Before any memorial may be installed in a churchyard or cemetery, permission must be obtained from its owners or management. An application detailing the proposed work must be submitted to the burial authority prior to proceeding. All burial grounds will charge an application for approval fee, which varies from place to place. Our qualified staff manage the application process and deal directly with the churchyard or cemetery authority on your behalf. 

Choosing the shape

These days headstone and memorial plaques come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from the traditional to the modern and everything in between. Browse our website to see our current stock, ring or email us to request a brochure pack or call in personally to discuss your requirements.

Here's a selection from our range of current stock - scroll through the gallery or click on an image to see a larger picture along with the stock number.
Our current brochure contains even more choice.  You may choose the stone as it is illustrated in the gallery picture or combine features from two or more designs to create a memorial that meets your requirements.  Bear in mind that it is not possible to stock every combination of shape, style and colour so a period of up to 14 weeks is often required for the stone to be manufactured from the raw material and delivered to us.  All of the stones can be made in any of the colours of granite available - see the section on "Choosing the colour" below.  Hover or click on an image to see the reference number.

Choosing the colour

The varieties of granite and natural stone available for memorials has increased greatly in recent years along with the development of quarries throughout the developing world. Here is just a small selection of the many different materials available to choose from.


Choosing the inscription

Choosing the wording to go on the headstone is the hardest part of the process. It needs to be formal, giving the important details of the deceased, but it also needs to be a goodbye, a remembrance of who the person was and what you loved most about them. The wording can be broken down in to three parts:

  • The initial inscription. This is the wording at the top of the headstone, the lead in to the person’s name. In Loving Memory or Treasured Memories are the most popular, but there are a number of verses you can choose from, though it is not compulsory to have this.
  • The personal details. These are the deceased’s name, date of death, date of birth and/or age. Some people also like to add here if they were a loving grandmother/father, mother/father, sister/brother and or a nick name that the deceased may have been better known as.
  • The verse. Lines from poems, prayers to god for safe keeping or verses from their favourite songs can all be seen on headstones throughout the UK. The verse is your chance to say something personal about the deceased, to pray for God to look after them, or to thank them and say good bye. Whatever you want to say, there will be a song or poem that says it for you.

To help you express your inner thoughts we have compiled a small collection of words that have given others comfort in the past

Choosing the font and style of the lettering

The lettering on a headstone can be done in 2 ways:

  • Traditional Handcut. Our memorial masons are highly skilled in hand cutting the granite and natural stone to create bespoke, unique letters and numbers to suit your requirements.
  • Sandblasted. Sandblasted letters can be done in nearly any font that you would find on a word processor and provide a smooth, precise finish. Our experienced designers will look at the kind of lettering you are looking for and offer and number of choices. Whether you want it all in capitals, or flowing and scripted we have the font to suit you.

Choosing the finish of the letering

Whichever method you chose for the cutting of the letters, you will have a choice over the finish of the letters:

  • Gold Leaf. The 23.25 carat gold leaf is hand crafted on to the already cut letters and wears extremely well.
  • Leaded Letters. Lead is beaten into the handcut letters and can be rubbed flush with the face of the headstone for a marble memorial. For granite memorials an embossed finish would be appropriate and sits proud of the face of the headstone. Leaded letters are hand crafted.
  • Painted Letters. Our enamel painted letters come in a range of colours including silver, white, grey, black and bronze. The letters are painted over a number of days leaving the paint to completely dry between coats.


Choosing the design or ornament

Some people like to decorate their loved ones’ headstone with a small motif that depicts a hobby or reflects the life style of the deceased. This is not a pre-requisite and there are many who let the inscription speak for itself.

At WP Everingham & Sons memorial masons we hold an extensive catalogue of traditional designs to suit your requirements, our skilled craftsmen can als engrave almost any design onto a memorial. We can even create special personalised etchings from cherished images or photographs that represents your loved one's life.

Here are a small collection of recent bespoke designs

Once you have choosen a memorial, design and lettering, we will apply for permission from the churchyard or cemetery on your behalf. We will ensure your memorial is properly erected with care, dignity and respect. It is also our craftsmen that will fix your memorial in situ, they hold nationally recognised qualifications for fixing and are members of the Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers (RQMF).

This close attention to quality allows us to confidently provide our customers with a 10 year guarantee all work that we fix. That not only includes new memorial but also older headstones that we might add further inscriptions to.
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