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How soon can I erect a headstone? 4 good reasons to wait

Choosing a headstone is a huge undertaking and should never be rushed. Do not feel hurried and pushed into deciding too soon. Here I share 4 good reasons to take your time.

childrens headstone

It's amazing how many replacement headstones we have made for clients who have ordered memorials in the past too early. Here I give 4 reasons why taking your time is a good thing:

1.The ground needs maximum time to settle.

Many vicars recommend waiting at least 6 months before the headstone is erected. In my opinion this is often far too early as the grave might still be sinking. If it is there is a risk of the headstone leaning forward. Although every precaution is made to prevent this, we can't stop the ground moving. Therefore I advise waiting at least a year. There is no reason however not to get the ball rolling by visiting the workshop and getting a sense of the work and how your involvement will have a positive effect on the end result.

2.Your head will be clearer.

Take your time with the wording, there is no rush. Look through the options; share the inscription with others and approach me for my opinion; I can help.

3.The end result will be there for a long time.

If you take your time in the commissioning process you will assure yourself that the epitaph you have chosen is right.

4.For really excellent materials, you usually need to wait a few weeks.

Every mason in the country wants good stone, and sadly now there are fewer quarries in Britain than there were 100 years ago. I have a brilliant supplier who knows how fussy I am; he only gives me excellent stone and slate, but sometimes this just takes time. Commissioning a headstone is a big financial investment, so I think in the long run, a few months wait is well worth it. From time to time clients want to get on with installing a headstone as soon as possible because they are concerned by what others might think of 'the neglected grave'. I think you will find however that most people understand and will not accuse you of neglect. You shouldn't be concerned with these views anyway. Family members also sometimes push for quick results for different reasons, but as you are the one who is taking the lead, it's important that you work at a speed that suits you.

Fergus W
Written by

Fergus Wessel

Designer and letter-carver

Fergus created Stoneletters Studio in 2003, after training at the Kindersley Workshop. He is a member of the prestigious Master Carver's Association.