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Headstone Providers - Buying a Headstone - Average Costs

Choosing a Headstone

Prior to commissioning a headstone from a supplier / engraver, it is very important to verify with the cemetery / crematoria (if ashes are to be buried) what conditions they have regarding common attributes such as dimensions, materials and permissible engravings.

A cemetery can reserve the right to refuse a headstone if it does not meet the requirements set out in their terms and conditions. If in doubt please speak to someone in charge of the cemetery site. Not all cemeteries have the same restrictions and allowances so if you are looking for a suitable location for interment (burial) and you have some idea of a headstone in mind, this might be an important factor affecting your final decision.

Well organised cemeteries tend to have an information leaflet detailing their regulations which often include the limitations defining allowable headstones. That being said here is a list of questions that you might want to ask if you are unclear, or that the cemetery’s information is in some way ambiguous.
What kind of headstone are allowed in the cemetery?
Upright, flat grave marker, granite, bronze marker, adjacent companion marker, infant, veteran marker
Is there a rule regarding adjacent companion memorials (married couple)?
Traditionally the husband is on the left and the wife on the right when viewed from the foot of the grave.
Does the Cemetery have a maximum permissible sized headstone?
Allowed maximum range sizes do vary when comparing cemeteries.
Are headstones allowed with an integrated flower vase?
Not all locations will allow you to have headstones with bronze or granite flower vases.
What colours of granite are allowed?
It’s rare to have the colour of the granite restricted, although it pays to be safe and ask.
I’m interested in a bronze marker, are there any restrictions?
Most cemeteries are okay with bronze colouring (known as oxidation), again just check.
Are there any restrictions on headstones relating to the plot maintenance?
On occasion cemeteries are known to stipulate the requirement for headstones having a maximum base size for the granite and lawnmower proof edges.
Do I need to complete paperwork for the placement of a headstone?
Special forms including a permit and authorisation might need to be completed for the placement of the headstone.
Will there be a fee for installing the headstone?
It’s worth checking to see if the headstone laying is included with the interment and or plot fee, if not then expect a surcharge.

Your rights

As a consumer you have rights to buy a headstone from any supplier and have it installed at the cemetery so long as you have met the criteria set out in their documentation and or noted from discussion with a cemetery representative.

What kind of headstones are likely to be available ? 

The types of headstones that can be commissioned fall into several distinct categories.

Grass markers (flat markers)

These lie flat on the ground at the head of the grave, usually flush and level with the grass.

Monument style stone

It is what most people would imagine when they hear the term ‘headstone’, usually set upright on a base out of the ground.

Bevel markers

Approximately 20cm (8 inches) in thickness, set at the head of the grave, rising above the grass level.


The stone usually has a thickness approaching 20cm, lying flat on the ground, covering the entire length of the grave. Sometimes monuments are also added to the head of the grave.

Slanted (desk stone) markers

These are sometimes referred to as pillow stones, sitting flat upon the ground at the head of the grave. The front of the stone is angled back in the appearance of a wedge shape (average 45cm high).

Headstones are costly aren’t they?

What style do you want and what material do you want it to be made from. The more extravagant designs, surface finishes, engraving and vase features will all add up to give you a final value, suffice to say that most headstones commissioned are found to be in the price range £750.00 – £1,250.00

It’s definitely worth obtaining 3 or more quotes, sometimes the more established suppliers have offers available so please take some time to look around rather than making a snap decision. Some providers offer a free delivery and installation service within a maximum radius.
Here is a link to a directory listing headstone makers in local areas.

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