A selection of 20 stunning green slate headstones and memorials to inspire you. This includes 10 recently added headstone designs.
Updated: June 2022 from original post written in 2014
Have you ever heard of green slate used for headstones? After seeing the following beautiful headstones, you will hopefully love the stone as much as I do. Green slate is such a versatile material, which allows detail in the same way as granite whilst at the same time remaining more natural and weathering gently with time. I always use British materials whenever possible, and green slate from Cumbria is one example. This is otherwise known as Westmoreland Slate, and is the stone I tend to recommend when someone wants a soft, light green/grey headstone, although one could argue it is more of a grey than green.
The 'bull-nose', round edges on this unique green slate headstone invite the hand to touch. The informal letterforms were drawn without using horizontal guide lines giving it a flow which is childlike and sensitive.
This green slate headstone blends in beautifully into its surroundings, yet it remains formal and dignified.
One has complete control over the letterforms when using green slate. I often go for quite a timeless letterform like the headstone above that won't look out of place in 20 - 30 years time. It is elegant and works well in an ancient churchyard.
I am always looking for other ways to say 'in loving memory' as it is very much over-used. 'Remember' is positive and instructive, and is seldom used these days. 'Remembered with love' is a good alternative and is quietly gentle.
I would never have been able to draw and carve this section of the Cosworth engine on other material but slate! The harsh lines of the engine are a fitting contrast to the flowing italics on this dignified green slate headstone.
A simple carving of wheat says much about the life of whom the headstone commemorates. A man of the land - a farmer. It is such an ancient symbol. The quote by Philip Larkin 'What will survive of us is love' is personal and yet speaks to everyone. Read more on headstone symbols.
A simple headstone is often best. This inscription on this green slate gravestone is formal yet it doesn't shout. It retains a softness that is approachable. Often Cotswold churches don't like the thought of using green slate and would rightly prefer a limestone, preferably local. I would say however that green slate should be the exception. Its warm grey, green colour blends extremely well into the grey, honey coloured landscape.
Green slate will weather well. Because it is never polished but just rubbed smooth, bacteria will settle in time and it will mellow with even greater effect into the landscape. It can be cleaned however, and will never be permanently discoloured by the weathering process.
For examples of Cumbrian blue/grey slate headstones visit this post on slate headstones and gravestones.
As an update to this popular blog post, here are some green slate headstones we have made in 2022.
Tall, elegant green slate headstone. This is simple and unique.
This green slate headstone features a delicate line carving of a dog.
I love tall, narrow headstones, as they have dignity and tend to be uplifting.
This green slate headstone is elegant and narrow with a line carving of a snowdrop with a touch of gold.
Green slate lends itself well to gilding and this beautiful headstone features a gilded sunken disc.
Otherwise known as Westmoreland Slate, this green slate headstone has small, fine lettering.
Unassuming and yet strong, this green slate headstone features a long elegant cross along one side.
This green slate headstone has rounded edges which invite one to touch it, as it is wonderfully smooth.
Cumbrian green slate lends itself well to strong relief carvings as seen on this headstone.
Another pebble shaped headstone, with lovely rounded edges.
Fergus created Stoneletters Studio in 2003, after training at the Kindersley Workshop. He is a member of the prestigious Master Carver's Association.