What is the Average Cost of a Headstone in the UK?

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Headstones in a church graveyard on a sunny day with blue sky
  • Headstone costs differ based on size, quality of stone & other factors.
  • The average cost of an upright headstone is between £1000 to £2000.
  • There are ways to help ensure a headstone meets a budget.

A Useful Watch…

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult and emotional experiences anyone can go through.

The process of planning their funeral and burial can be overwhelming and confusing, with many decisions to be made.

One of those decisions is what kind of headstone to purchase for their final resting place.

While it may seem like a small detail, a headstone serves as a lasting tribute to your loved one’s memory, representing their life and legacy.

However, before making this important purchase, it’s crucial to understand the cost of a headstone in the UK and the various factors that can impact the price.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of headstones, the factors that affect their cost, and how to choose the right one for your loved one’s final resting place.

Whether you are pre-planning for yourself or deciding for a loved one, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Understanding the Purpose & Significance of Headstones

A headstone is a monument that serves as a marker for a person’s final resting place, providing a tangible reminder of their life and legacy.

Headstones are a time-honoured tradition in many cultures and religious faiths, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials.

Commonly crafted from durable materials such as granite (which is available in a range of different granite colours) or marble, headstones can be customised to reflect the personality and interests of the person they are memorialising.

They often feature inscriptions containing important information such as the name of the deceased, their date of birth and passing, and meaningful quotes or poems.

In addition to traditional headstones, there are also other types of memorials such as cremation memorials for cremated remains and decorative full-kerb sets for graves.

Headstones serve as an incredibly important role in the grieving process and the ongoing celebration of a life. They provide a tangible reminder of the person being remembered, a place for loved ones to visit and pay their respects, and a way to honour and remember their life for years to come.

How Much Does a Headstone Typically Cost in the UK?

According to a SunLife study, the average price paid for a headstone in the UK during 2022 was £1,064.

While this may seem costly compared to other optional funeral extras such as catering or flowers, it’s important to keep in mind that there are different types of headstones available at varying price points and many factors can affect the overall price of any memorial – not to mention that a well-crafted headstone made from a quality material that’s expertly engraved and professionally installed can last several lifetimes over.

For those seeking the best value headstones, flat or slanted headstones can be a great choice, often proving the least costly of all options.

The most popular type of headstone – the upright design – typically costs anywhere upwards of around £1,000 depending on a range of factors such as the stone material used, size, design, engravings and etchings etc. while kerbed headstones typically cost the most at a price upwards of £2,000 due to their larger size and intricate design.

Various headstones and kerb sets in a cemetery

Fortunately, there are several ways to save money when selecting a headstone.

Choosing a smaller size or a less expensive material can significantly reduce the cost, as can opting for a simpler finish or limiting the number of words inscribed on the stone.

It’s also worth noting that a headstone doesn’t need to be purchased immediately.

In many cases, it’s recommended to wait at least 6-12 months after the burial before installing a permanent marker, while some memorial masons may offer payment plans to help spread the cost.

In the meantime, a temporary wooden marker or plaque can be used as a more affordable option, allowing you to take the time to decide on the type of headstone that best reflects your loved one’s memory and your budget.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Headstone

The cost of a headstone in the UK can vary widely due to several factors that influence the price, including:

  1. Type of headstone
  2. Materials
  3. Size
  4. Design
  5. Extras (additional engravings, etchings, flower vases etc.)
  6. Location
  7. Cemetery or burial ground regulations
  8. General economic climate
British money coins and notes

One of the most significant factors is the type of headstone that you choose. There are several common types of headstones that we touched on earlier, including flat or lawn-level headstones, kerbed headstones, and full-length headstones.

The size and design of the headstone can also have a significant impact on its cost, as can the materials used to create it and any additional extras such as intricate carvings, engravings, fine-craft etchings, integrated flower vases etc.

Cemetery or burial ground regulations can also play a role in the cost. Each cemetery and burial ground may have different rules and restrictions regarding the type, size, and design of headstones that are permitted. Some may even require you to purchase a headstone from their approved suppliers, which can impact the price.

It is always advisable to check with the cemetery or burial ground before purchasing a headstone to ensure that you comply with their regulations.

Additionally, the cost of a headstone can also depend on the location of the cemetery or burial ground. In some areas, the cost of materials and labour may be higher, which can drive up the overall cost of the headstone.

Then there is the general economic climate across the country that will always have an ongoing affect on the price of just about everything.

It’s important to consider all these factors before deciding on a headstone and budgeting accordingly.

Ultimately, it’s possible to find a headstone that fits your budget by considering various options such as choosing a smaller size or a less expensive material.

You can also discuss your budget and requirements with your local memorial mason to see if they have any suggestions that might meet your criteria.

With careful planning and research, it’s certainly possible to find a headstone that is both affordable and a fitting tribute to your loved one.

Types of Headstones

There are several types of headstones available, each with its own unique style and features. Many are shaped, such as heart-shaped headstones, while some designs act as double headstones to honour two or more people.

Headstones can also be crafted to a unique custom design.

The type of headstone you choose will depend on your requirements, personal preferences, budget, and any cemetery or burial ground regulations you need to follow.

Flat Headstones

These headstones are typically made of granite or another natural stone material and are designed to be installed flush with the ground. They are a popular choice for those who prefer a simple, understated look and are most commonly used as cremation memorials.

Black granite flat memorial with flower etching

Desk Headstones

Desk headstones are very similar to flat headstones but are simply designed with a sloping face to offer an alternative option. They are also usually crafted using the same popular stone materials as flat headstones, such as granite.

Black granite desk memorial with etching and flower vase

Upright Headstones

Full-length headstones, also known as upright headstones, are the traditional headstones that many people think of when they imagine a cemetery. They are typically made of granite or marble and can feature intricate designs and carvings.

Blue granite upright headstone with flower design

Kerbed Headstones

Kerbed headstones typically feature a raised border around the perimeter of the grave. They can be made from a variety of materials, including granite, marble, and sandstone, and may feature additional inscriptions or designs.

Red granite full kerb set memorial with headstone and flower vase

Choosing the Right Headstone

Choosing the right headstone for your loved one can be a difficult decision.

It’s important to consider their personality and interests when selecting a design, as well as any regulations that may impact your choice.

If you’re not sure where to start, a reputable headstone supplier can provide expert guidance and advice.

When it comes to cost, it’s important to remember that a headstone is a lasting tribute to your loved one’s memory.

While the cost may be a consideration, it shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision-making process.

Consider the quality of the materials, the durability of the design, and the reputation of the supplier when making your choice.

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