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18 May 2015
Workshop life

Kensal Green Cemetery - a unique headstone

A fine, unique headstone was made for the late Elizabeth Grant with a relief carving of a dove, which now sits in the beautiful Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

This unique headstone can be seen in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Kensal Green Cemetery, the cemetery of All Souls is one of Britains oldest and most beautiful pubic burial grounds. It houses many beautiful and prestigious graves and making a headstone for this cemetery was an honour.

This headstone to remember the late Caroline Elizabeth Grant was carved from Portland limestone and the photos below show how a section of stone was left proud in order to make the fine relief carving of the dove. The dove has long been a Christian symbol of love and peace and this sentiment is echoed by the inscription of the latin for peace, Pacem.

The limestone is fairly soft and will weather in time and therefore needs strong, bold lettering and a simple carving with plenty of relief. In the workshop you can see that the headstone is much larger than the finished piece above ground as a third of the headstone is placed beneath the ground into a NAMM approved concrete shoe.

Portland limestone is a British stone and blends in well with the natural surroundings. As it weathers it will improve and the inscription will stand out further. As long as you carve the letters deeply enough they will still be legible in hundreds of years' time.

headstone drawn out

headstone in kensal green cemetery, london

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.