Quarried from the Isle of Portland in Dorset, this material has been used extensively throughout churchyards and cemeteries for many centuries, including many famous monuments and historic buildings. Creamy white in appearance, which will soon mellow with age and attract lichen and algae to the surface.
An imported limestone, quarried in Italy. Grey in colour with varied shell content. A very hard limestone which is considered suitable for most churchyards. This material can sometimes contain natural iron marking which consist of patches of light brown or orange.
This stone is also quarried in Dorset. It is darker in colour than Portland stone, with hints of brown and beige. It contains a lot of shell markings and sometimes includes white or dark veins running through the surface of the stone. The inconsistency and imperfections in appearance add to the natural beauty of this stone. It is not quarried throughout the year and therefore monumental quality stone can be difficult to obtain at times. A memorial in Purbeck stone is usually only available with the edges and back of the headstone consisting of a rustic finish and the face smooth for the inscription. We recommend you enquire on the availability before placing an order.
Another imported limestone, which is similar in appearance to green slate. Like other limestone, the surface of the stone will attract lichen and algae and thus harmonise with the natural beauty of a country churchyard.
Wessex Buff and Wessex Fossil Limestone - These two natural stones are both quarried outside the UK, but have proved a very popular choice of stone for a memorial in an English country churchyard. Wessex Buff is slightly darker in appearance than Portland stone, and very consistent in appearance with very little imperfections. Wessex Fossil is one of the closest resemblances to Purbeck stone, with very attractive shell like markings, adding to the natural beauty of this limestone and will compliment the surroundings of the churchyard environment.
This is one of the finest materials for letter cutting and ornamental carving. Blue/Black Welsh or Cumbrian are the commonly used slates for a memorial. Green slate is also available from Cumbria, which will often be heavily veined or have lighter or darker patches of green. Slate is as hard as granite except it does not lend itself to a high gloss polish. Some churchyards will accept slate particularly as it is a native stone to the British Isles. Unfortunately slate is one of the most expensive materials available which can often deter the choice of this material. Only monumental quality slate should be used for a memorial and cheaper imported slates should be avoided as these do not withstand the British climate. Prices for memorials in Slate are on application.
Granite is one of the hardest and most durable natural stones suitable for a memorial. Unfortunately most British granite quarries are no longer in operation and therefore the majority of granite is imported from Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. Whereas granite is acceptable in most cemeteries, the regulations in churchyards will prevent the use of most colours with the exception of Light Grey or Grey granite which must not be polished beyond an eggshell finish. Colours such as Black, Red or Blue Pearl granite would not be acceptable in a country churchyard particularly as they will not blend in with the stone of the church or locality.
Quarried in Italy, this material has been the choice of sculptors for centuries. White in colour with blue/grey veining, it lends itself to statuary carving, and will withstand the elements of the British climate. Unfortunately Church regulations will prevent the use of white marble in churchyards, whilst virtually all Parish Council and local authority run cemeteries will permit it.