The image of a boat has been used on headstones for centuries by many civilizations. The boat lends itself well to carving, as it can be simplified and stylised. It is a romantic symbol, a symbol of a journey but also a symbol of safety and refuge.
Last week Stoneletters was the proud winner of a Good Funeral Award for "Best Maker of Hand Carved Memorials in an Indigenous Material". The award is a real accolade and testament to all of Fergus's hard work and devotion to his clients.
This is a brief summary of the Oxfordshire Churchyard Regulations which apply to our clients. Clients are often worried about regulations, but vicars tend to be very helpful and encourage unique, hand carved headstones.
I am often asked what wording is allowed on a headstone which is to go in a churchyard. Unfortunately, there are often no hard and fast rules. Below I shall summarise the main guidelines and offer advice based on over ten years' experience.
Choosing a headstone or memorial for a child must be the hardest thing to do. I have collected together some beautiful epitaphs and quotes for children as well as some examples of headstones which I hope will provide some comfort and inspiration.
Gravestone installation is a very important part of my work; I prefer to install all of my gravestones myself using the Monolith fixing method wherever possible. Here I explain how we fix our headstones, and I describe the pros and cons of monolith and dowel (pin) fixings.
Lettering is only a small part of a gravestone design. Almost all of my headstones incorporate a small carving of a symbol or motif. Choosing a symbol is often difficult and may be inspired by something your loved one was passionate about or simply an image from nature. Here are some symbols from my headstones which I hope will inspire you.
Have you ever seen a truly bespoke, hand carved headstone? These headstones are nothing like those seen in the catalogues of monumental masons. This selection of headstones is to give you an insight into our work.
Portland Headstones to inspire you. Portland limestone is a natural British material which improves with weathering. These headstones give you an idea of the versatility of the stone, although the lettering needs to be large enough to read without the need to paint it, and in time as it weathers the letters need to be cut deep and large enough to remain legible. Carving letters along the edge is very effective.
People often ask me about cleaning gravestones, and the answer I usually give is not to do so unless absolutely necessary! If you are determined to clean a gravestone, I share some tips in this article.
Choosing the right headstone material is crucial and it is hard to know where to begin. Do you start with the inscription, or the stone? Here I suggest 8 questions you need to ask when considering what material to use.