Guide to choosing a Memorial

Q: Do I have to wait to place a memorial after an internment/burial?

A: Rules for cemeteries in Bristol/Gloucester and the Somerset/South west region differ from cemetery to cemetery. You may have to wait at least 6 months before a memorial can be placed if the internment was a burial. Some cemeteries have pre-cast foundations at the head of a grave, this usually allows for a memorial to be placed straight after any internment. Cremation memorials can more often than not be placed immediately after the internment of ashes. If you are unsure of the time length required by a cemetery, please contact us on 0845 226 0117 and we will be happy to make enquiries for you.

Q: What is the best stone to make a memorial from?

A: Most Bristol/Gloucester and South west church and civic cemeteries require memorials to be made of natural stone in order to meet placement regulations. There are five basic stone types commonly used for memorials in the U.K. Each stone type has its own limitations and particular characteristics for memorial use. Below is a brief guide for each material type;

Granite – Probably the best material to use for a memorial to be placed in the Bristol and Somerset/South west region. Granite is generally a light coloured ingenious rock, which when polished can reveal stunning colouration in many different hues. Like all natural materials each piece of granite is unique, and the colour of any particular type, can vary greatly. It should be noted that any images of granites shown are only a guide. The material is tough and very hard wearing, and is fairly non porous in comparison to other natural stone materials. A Polished finish can protect the stone from most effects of exposure to the natural environment. Cost wise the material is now very competitively priced when compared to other memorial materials.

Marble – Traditionally used for memorials since the turn of the last century, generally a pure white material (but can be obtained in pinks. greys and light browns) .Marble is fantastic due to its softness, for shaping and carving intricate details. Unfortunately the stone is particularly porous and therefore any gravestone made from marble will need maintenance at some stage during its placement in order to retain its colouration.

Sandstone – Traditional U.K quarried material that is found in different forms U.K wide and in South west England. The material for headstones is generally a buff colour and is quite hard wearing. Usually suited for placement of Somerset churchyard memorials where regulations prevent the use of granites and marble in order to maintain the architectural aesthetic. Types include Yorkstone, Pennant Stone, Horsham Stone.

Lime stone – Similar in structure and sometime appearance to marble. With similar characteristics that enable it to be carved with ease. Limestone again is a traditionally used regional material for headstones, available in many different types. Popular types for memorial use include Nabresina, Purbeck, Portland and Bath stone. Can be expensive in comparison to other materials, and is not as hard wearing as granite.

Slate – Traditional Welsh slate is the best slate material to use for memorials due to its cutting ability. It is quite soft and therefore easy to carve. It can however be quite unforgiving and brittle. Good quality slate is very expensive and hard to obtain.

Q: Can a memorial stone be personalised to suit our requirements?

A: Yes our skilled stonemasons are able to produce the memorial to suit your particular taste. We are also able to inscribe designs such as crosses, hearts, shamrocks, angels or if you provide us with a design we can produce a stencil for it using our specialist software.

Q: Can you produce an inscription in foreign language and non-latin scripts?

A: Yes. We are able to reproduce any language type required whether it uses latin lettering or not. We have produced memorials for Gaelic Irish, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Armenian, Pakistani communities to name a few. We will need you to guide us, and supply specific details. However for example we do have some standard Islamic Arabic and Urdu texts on our design system that we can use for memorial inscriptions or you can supply your own art work. Call us on 0845 226 0117 for details on how we can help in the Bristol and surrounding areas.

Q: Should I have the lettering cut by hand or machine?

A: Most of the inscriptions we now produce are sand blast cut in house. We believe there is no difference in the quality of the work when using the latest technology available for this method. Should you choose we are still able to offer hand cut inscriptions upon a headstone if desired or even required (to match an inscription already cut by hand), although due to the time intensity of this method it can prove to be more expensive than sand blasted.

Q: Are there any other costs to take into consideration after purchasing the stone?

A: Our price for a stone includes the placement in a Somerset region cemetery with a 100 letters included (unless otherwise stated). Any further lettering is charged per letter and is additional to the cost of the memorial. Furthermore depending on where the stone is to be placed there may be a fee to payable to the cemetery authority for permission.

Q: Is Mendip Memorials work guaranteed?

A: Yes all our memorial stone work is guaranteed for quality and workmanship for a period of 10 years, and is placed/fixed to the BS8415 industry standard. We also guarantee the fixing for 30 years should it fail any subsequent safety testing during this period.

Q: Is Mendip Memorials a member of trade organisation?

*A: Yes, Mendip memorials has undertaken assessment to ensure all our memorial placement work meets current British safety standard BS8415. We are proudly registered with the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM).You can therefore have peace of mind that any memorial purchased will be of sound material constuction.

Q: Do I need to get insurance for the memorial?

A: Whilst we offer a workmanship guarantee for any defects that may occur that are with our control, memorials can be expensive. Like all items of value insurance should be considered to cover any damage caused by a third party in the cemetery. Contact us on 0845 226 0117 we can provide details of insurance available.

Thanks for taking the time to read our guide, if you feel that there is anything you still don’t know, or wish to chat to us anyway, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 226 0117 (free call from BT landlines)