Choosing a memorial

A memorial is a lasting and unique commemoration of a person’s life. In the period following death it can play an important part in the mourning process by providing a focal point for the grieving family.

Over a longer period of time, the memorial can become a lasting tribute to the person and their life. When a person is buried, their grave and accompanying headstone provide a natural focus. It is less easy when a person has been cremated although the human need for a memorial remains just as important.

All the crematoria in the UK offer various different memorial options. These will vary considerably from one crematorium to another so it is always important to check what is available.

Rules and regulations

You should also check to see what is allowed as all councils and local authorities will have strict rules regarding what they permit in terms of size and style of memorials.

It is important that you or your chosen stone mason liaise closely with the appropriate authorities to ensure that their regulations are not contravened.

Lease tenure

The other point you should be aware of is that almost all memorials will be provided on a lease tenure basis only. This means that a memorial is purchased for a specified period of time only.

At the end of that initial period, ownership reverts to the crematorium unless a further period of tenure is purchased.

Lawn memorial

Since the 1950s the most popular type of memorial in has been the lawn memorial. This is usually an upright rectangular piece of stone that carries a personalised inscription.

Most crematoria encourage these memorials as they require little upkeep and maintenance.

Memorial wall plaque

Many crematoria have wall or niche plaques. Decorative panels accommodate a single or a double plaque bearing a short inscription. Some are designed to incorporate a flower holder.

Memorial kerbstone

These memorial kerbstones usually border the pathways in gardens of remembrance. They consist of a permanently fixed kerb base into which is set a commemorative plaque together with a flower holder.

A ceramic photographic miniature displaying a portrait of the deceased can often be incorporated.

A tree or shrub

The dedication of a tree or a shrub ‘in memoriam’ of a person is also popular.

A tree or shrub dedication can be arranged throughout the year but it is usual to actually plant between October and December in order to give the tree or shrub the best opportunity to establish its roots.

A garden seat or bench

Most councils and local authorities allow people to dedicate seats and benches in the memory of loved ones. There will usually be the opportunity to incorporate a memorial plaque in the design.

Hymn books or service books

The donation of a hymnal or service book with details of a dedication displayed on the inside cover which can be placed in the crematorium chapel can often be made.

Book of remembrance

In most crematorium gardens there will be a book of remembrance available. Usually, two pages of the book will be allocated to each day of the year.

The pages will then be turned daily so that the entries for a particular day will be displayed on every subsequent anniversary.

Other donations

As an alternative, a person’s family may decide to make a donation in their memory to a good work or a building project such as a community hall or church repairs.

There may also be a favourite charity the deceased person wanted to support.

Please note

The information which we provide through Lasting Post is in outline for information or educational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser. We cannot guarantee that information provided by Lasting Post will meet your individual needs, as this will very much depend on your individual circumstances. You should therefore use the information only as a starting point for your enquiries.