Choosing a Headstone for your child
A memorial headstone for your child is a lasting tribute and symbol of rememberance and can be such an important focal point when dealing with your grief. But, it is very important to consider the following factors before making your decision.
Initially we would recommend that you speak to the cemetery or churchyard to check what rules they have in place, which may regulate what type of stone can be erected. They can vary quite often from place to place and you will also need to get permission from the cemeteries management before you can put your memorial in place. So do take time to check what restrictions may be put upon you, your stonemason should also be able to assist and advise you too.
It is also useful to know that normally a headstone cannot be laid for around 6 months after a burial. This is just to ensure that the ground has settled and the stone will not tilt or lean. This does not apply however, for a burial of cremation memorials or vases.
When choosing your stonemason we would recommend that they belong to the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) or the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM). They should be able to give you a wealth of advice on choosing the correct stone for you and ideas on inscriptions and lettering. Do ask for pricing and quotes though, as they will vary greatly depending on your design, how the lettering is done i.e. hand carved, sandblasted or by machine and the churchyard fees and VAT.
When your final decisions are done for your memorial, do take great care and check all the working and spelling before placing your order and signing. The upkeep and maintenance of the memorial once it is positioned is your responsibility, however, most stonemasons now can offer an insurance policy to protect against theft and any damage, we would highly recommend an insurance is taken out; as if your memorial does become unsafe certain steps may be taken to lay it down or even remove it. Your stonemason may also offer an annual maintenance scheme to clean and attend to any minor problems with your stone.
The definitive Guide to Headstones
We have been told about a website called the Headstone Guide, it is a site dedicated to choosing a stone and what considerations you need to be mindful of. The purpose of this guide is to help you make a more informed decision without letting your emotions cloud your judgement.
Memorials by Artists for Young People, Children and Babies is a new guide that aims to help families who are facing the extremely hard task of finding a memorial to celebrate the life of their child from before birth to young adult. A great variety of work is shown in stone, slate and wood – from the traditional and classical to unusual and uplifting contemporary work. There are articles offering practical advice on subjects from wording to children's involvement.
Available at £15 + £2.50 p&p
Contact: www.memorialsbyartists.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM)
1 Castle Mews
Tel: 01788 542264
Fax: 01788 542276
British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM)
Telphone: 01788 544963
Fax: 01823 253681
8 The Crescent
The following sites are all specialists in children's headstones and memorials...
Fergus is a letter cutter who specialises in hand carved headstones and fine memorials for children. Having five children himself, he has been touched by the families who have approached him over the years, and he believes that every family deserves a compassionate & personal approach when commissioning a headstone for a child.
Fergus encourages families to be involved in the design of the memorial whenever possible, and will draft and re-draft a design until it perfectly captures the spirit of the child and the sentiments the parents want to convey. This takes time and patience and must not be hurried. Based in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, just over an hour from London, Fergus encourages visitors to his workshop and has work all over the UK including St Pauls Cathedral.
Fergus Wessel's Stone WorkshopSpring CottageGreen LaneMilton under WychwoodOX7 6JYTel: 07779 294 673
The Headstone Guide - Fergus" blog full of interesting articles on headstones, choosing designs, materials and inscriptions.
Specialists In Children's Memorials and Headstones
4 Wold Farm Park
Tel: 01604 780631
Fax: 01604 780046
Ieuan Rees graduated from the Royal College of Art with a Master of Design Degree in 1967 and has worked as a freelance artist/craftsman for over 40 years. He has appeared on many TV programmes, and his work has been reproduced in many books.
He is regarded as one of Britain's most versatile artist/craftsmen in the fields of lettering, letter carving, calligraphy, architectural lettering and graphic communication. He has worked on vellum, stone, glass, wood and metal. He has lectured and held workshops all over Britain, the USA, and in Sydney, Australia.
He is a Fellow and past chairman of the Society of Scribes & Illuminators. and an Honorary Member of both the Washington Calligraphers Guild and The Colleagues of Calligraphy, Minneapolis. He is also a Full Member of The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art.
The Lettering & Calligraphy Studio,
"Deep inside I die. I clear my throat, I dry my tears. no one knows. Everyday I say I'm okay. Everyday I lie"