How much does a Memorial cost ?

How much does a Memorial cost ?

All the Memorials, Headstones and Gravestones that I make are unique bespoke and handcarved individual pieces of work. When a client asks me how much it will cost, this will depend on the following factors: On average a small single plaque or memorial will start from about £2500 upwards plus the cost of the stone and it also depends on requirements. Installation and cemetery costs are also at an additional cost.

1. The cost will depend on how many words are involved and the complexity of the memorial design. Some people charge by the number of letters and others will give you an overall cost. I will give the client an estimate of the costs involved and this may change as the discussion progresses.

2.  The price will also depend on what type of stone is to be used for the memorial. Some people may prefer to choose a cheaper material such as Portland Limestone which is not as expensive as Italian Carrara marble. All stone prices vary.

3.  The cost will also vary according to the size of the memorial required. Naturally, the bigger the memorial, the more expensive. There are, however, cemetery regulations regarding the maximum size of a memorial and these costs may differ depending on the location.

4. Is installation required ? I do not provide installation but I can arrange it with a local registered NAMM stonemason who will install the memorial for you and this will be at an additional cost paid directly by the client.

5. The cemetery fees must also be taken into account:  All cemeteries or churchyards will charge the client a fee for the plot. They will also ask to see the overall design for the memorial before the work begins as there are regulations about materials, size and wording. The client must make an application to the Church, Cemetery or Council to erect a memorial and permission must be granted before work begins. The application needs to include a copy of the design of the memorial, the dimensions and the types of stone to be used. The cemetery charges a fee for the application.

6. If the memorial is to be sent to other parts of the UK or overseas, there will be additional costs for delivery which include packing, postage and insurance.

7. With regards to payment, I will ask for a 50% deposit before the work begins to cover the cost of consultations, design and drawings. The cost of the stone and the installation of the memorial are paid for seperately and in advance. Once the work is completed, the balance of the fees will be due before installation.

The process of commissioning a Memorial

The process of commission a Memorial is a long and collaborative process with the client which may take many months. It is important to think about how you want to remember the deceased and to find an appropriate epitaph.

The grieving process is long and you will need time to reflect and you may change your mind as time moves on. I often recommend to a client to wait for at least six months to a year after the death before they decide on commissioning a memorial.

If you decide to commission a headstone, I will give you an estimate of the costs involved and a commission agreement to sign. There will be several consultations to discuss the design. I will then provide draft drawings for discussion and contact the cemetery to check on the required dimensions and type of stone to be used.  Once permission is granted from the Church, Cemetery or Council, the work can begin.

I will select the stone and start the carving process which may take many months depending on the design and size of the memorial. Some may include intricate reliefs.

Once the memorial is made, I will arrange installation with a local registered NAMM stonemason if required. I often use the monolith method where the stone is installed directly into the ground and has no base but also there are other methods such as plinths if required.


Simon Burns-Cox is a Sculptor and Letter Carver based at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland. He makes bespoke handcarved Memorials, Headstones, Gravestones and Plaques in all sizes and dimensions. If you would like to discuss your requirements further, please contact Simon through his website link below. All work can be done online with detailed drawings available. Simon Burns-Cox can be contacted at [email protected]

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