British Headstones & Memorials - Welsh Slate, Granite
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Our showrooms and factory are conveniently located in the North of Wales. We also have a sales office based in the south east of England.

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From advice about the types and colours of stone, to design, templating, manufacture, polishing and fitting...

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British Headstones and Memorials – Selecting Your Memorial

hand carving on natural shape headstone saying Love You Moore

The generations of experience that Cerrig brings to the design and fabrication of memorials means we can confidently guide you every step of the way to the creation of a unique memorial for your loved one. Example shown on the left was hand carved by Robyn Golden Hann.

We believe that choice of stone is a really important step in designing a memorial which can tell the story of a loved one. Perhaps stone from the part of the country where they were born, or lived or loved, perhaps a stone that they always thought particularly beautiful or perhaps the same stone as used in a building dear to them.

Below you will find a list of our most popular British stones, but we can source pretty much any indigenous stone should you require something different. While British stone makes up the majority of our work we also source material from abroad – particularly marble – when a client has a specific requirement.

Once you have selected a stone, we can guide you through the design of the memorial in terms of shape, font and inscription and motifs, the permissions required and all the way through to safely fixing the headstone on site.

Welsh Dark Blue/Grey Slate

swatch of Welsh Dark Blue Grey Slate

Quarried from 500 million year old slate deposits above Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales this is an even coloured slate with very few distracting markings on it. It is usually polished to a honed finish which feels almost like silk. The slate itself is very inert and water resistant and makes a particularly resilient headstone. This resilience combined with both its timeless stark beauty and the fact that it takes letter carving very well make popular, not just with those of Welsh origin but across the UK. Natural shaped memorials are particularly popular in slate and we have many in stock.

We can create any size or shape of headstone within reason and in particular manufacture many “in ground” slate headstones often found in churchyards.

Welsh Granite

sample swatch of Welsh Granite

The Trefor quarry on the North coast of Wales towers over the Irish Sea in a truly dramatic setting. The granite is very hard and makes a durable headstone. If the headstone is polished it will just require the odd clean to remain in pristine condition. If the headstone is left a little rough to the touch it will grow moss and lichens on it creating a lovely weathered look. Lettering and designs are sandblasted onto the granite as it is really too hard to take carving and are often painted black to make a dramatic contrast against the stone. Natural shaped memorials are also available in this stone.

 

Yorkstone

sample swatch of Yorkstone

This sandstone has been quarried in Yorkshire for thousands of years and can vary in colour from brown to light grey. Yorkstone has been used in building since medieval times and many churches have been built using this stone making it a popular choice for churchyard headstones. Note that our Yorkstone headstones really do come from Yorkshire. If you are buying elsewhere please check as many “yorkstone” headstones sold in the UK are really made in India. While it is a durable stone, it is softer than the other stones described here which makes it popular for carving three dimensional shapes. However its softness means that it is more prone to erosion so the citing of the memorial is important.

Welsh Limestone

sample swatch of Welsh Limestone

Limestone has been used for memorials and headstones since the middle ages and has been quarried on Anglesey since the 1800s. The Anglesey limestone we use for memorials is quite a hard mottled grey/buff stone which will take polishing and lettering well. In contrast to slate and granite, however, our Welsh limestone headstones will weather and fade in colour quite beautifully over the years to become part of the landscape.


 

Kilkenny Blue Limestone

sample swatch of Kilkenny blue stone

This blue/grey limestone was formed about 350 million years ago and has been used for millennia in Ireland for monuments, the earliest dating back to pre-Christian times. The highest grade monumental stone that we use is a uniform blue/grey colour with few surface imperfections and shells. The stone can hold very fine detail when used for carving designs and lettering and will lighten slightly over time. Different finishes can give the stone remarkably different appearances, but we tend to use a honed finish for headstones. The stone is very popular choice for headstones in Ireland and for those of Irish descent.

Portland Stone

sample swatch of Portland stone

The classic white limestone headstone, Portland stone comes from the quarries and mines of Portland on the southern tip of Dorset. It is widely used for building purposes – particularly in London on buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace as well as numerous other listed buildings. Headstones in Portland stone can be seen up and down the country, but particularly in and around Dorset. This is one of the stones used by the Ministry of Defence and used to be used by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission – so when you see the rows of white war graves these are probably Portland stone. It weathers beautifully and over time will blend in with other headstones in a churchyard.

Help & Advice

Our staff will be happy to guide you through the design of the memorial, choosing shape, colour, typeface, artwork, inscription and any additional details such as vases or kerbs. The various Parish Councils and Local Authorities have different guidelines for the erection of memorials and we are happy to advise on these. If you wish, you are welcome to visit us by the marina in Pwllheli to see the wide range of stones we are working on and discuss your requirements with our masons. Our staff are here to help deal with all the administration around designing and setting up a new headstone and to make the process as painless as possible. Call 01758 612645 to discuss your memorial requirements in more detail – we will be happy to help and advice.