Which Material is Best for a Headstone?

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There are many things to consider throughout the process of choosing a fitting memorial.

Finding the right material for a headstone is an important decision that needs to be made very early in the selection process.

However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which materials are the best for a headstone, and which may be most suitable to help honour your loved one. After all, a headstone is built to be a long-lasting tribute to a well-loved person, so finding a durable material that will stand the test of time is crucial.

Here at Ursells of Ross, all of our memorial materials are suitable for long-term use in the UK climate. We work closely with a number of cemeteries in Ross on Wye, Hereford and Monmouth, and we offer a selection of different stones that are ideal for these burial spots.

However, it is important to understand that each stone has different properties to take into account before any decision is made.

For example, some stones are available in a wider variety of colours and shades than others, some make it easier to carry out memorial maintainance duties, some will be more expensive than others, plus a whole host of other things to consider.

Below are some of the most popular stones we work with:


Base of black granite headstone with colourful butterflies etched onto stone

Granite is the most popular choice for a headstone due to its hardwearing properties.

Granite is a tough, durable stone that will maintain its appearance for decades. It comes available in a range of beautiful finishes, including Star Galaxy, Blue Pearl and Emerald Pearl, although classic Black Granite is the most common choice for a memorial.

Quality granite can be carved into intricate designs by skilled stonemasons, and granite headstones are also relatively low cost compared to some other materials.



Marble headstone material

Marble is another popular choice for headstones. The marble material is known for its beautifully elegant finish and it’s appreciated all across the world.

White marble features black, grey, or blue veins of colour running through it, and can be intricately carved into almost any design.

However, marble headstones can become weathered over time by the mild acid found in rainwater, which can leave the inscriptions somewhat illegible.

It is also a more expensive choice than other stones, though undertandably so due to it’s luxury appeal.

Nevertheless, the aesthetic qualities of marble headstones ensures that the material remains a popular choice – just be aware that a marble memorial exposed to the weather will likely require replacing sooner than many other materials.



Portland limestone material for headstones

There are many different types of limestone that are suitable as a headstone material, but Grey Portland Limestone is the most popular choice.

Its distinctive finish and versatility meant it was commonly used for traditional headstones many years ago.

As with marble, limestone headstones can also weather over time due to the mild acid in rainwater. This can produce a faded appearance and leave the inscription difficult to read.

With that said, a limestone headstone will still last for decades, providing a long-lasting tribute to a departed loved one and with a visual appearance that many people favour over other stones.



Welsh slate material for headstones

Slate is a popular choice for modern headstones thanks to its high quality and attractive texture.

We use locally sourced Welsh Slate, due to its high performance in outdoor conditions. Welsh Slate is resistant to weather elements, ensuring the headstone will retain its beauty for decades to come.

Welsh Slate headstones can also be carved more intricately than some other stones due to its close-grained composition.


Headstone in a cemetery

Here at Ursells, we work with a variety of quality natural materials to offer an impressive selection of memorials. We primarily provides headstones in Ross on Wye, Hereford, Monmouth and the surrounding areas, but our memorials have been known to travel nationally and even internationally. Our skilled family advisors can help you to decide on the best material for your headstone, using their years of expertise to advise you correctly.


Certain cemeteries will have restrictions on what headstone materials they allow. We have years of experience working with cemeteries in Ross on Wye and nearby, including Hereford Cemetery, Monmouth Cemetery and Leominster Cemetery, and can advise you on the regulations of each individual burial space.

Contact us today to find out more about the right material for your headstone.


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