Memorials FAQ

Do you have a memorial showroom?

Yes. We have one of the largest memorial showrooms in the eastern region, with many dozens of examples of headstones and plaques. We are open from 8.15am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. Our showroom and yard is at 615 Newmarket Road, Cambridge, where we have ample free parking.

Am I limited in my choice by where the memorial is being fixed?

Yes. The regulations regarding memorials in churchyards are quite complex. There are limitations on certain dimensions, designs and materials allowed. Cemeteries tend to be less strict, although regulations do vary from cemetery to cemetery. Once you tell us where the memorial is going to be fixed, will be able to advise you what is and isn’t allowed in that churchyard or cemetery.

How soon after a burial can a memorial stone be fixed?

You must wait at least 6 months after burial before fixing a memorial. This is to allow the ground to settle. Some churchyards and cemeteries insist on even longer after the burial.

What is the lead time for a memorial?

We aim to work to a timescale of 12 to 16 weeks from the date of the confirmed order. The lead time can be longer for bespoke memorials, or if our schedules are affected by periods of adverse weather.

Am I limited to the shapes and designs of memorials shown on your website or in your showroom?

No, our website and showroom displays just a small selection of the available designs. As we are a stonemasons, not a funeral directors or just a shop, we are able to create your own bespoke memorial designs from scratch.

Can you make cremation plaques?

Yes, cremation plaques can be provided in many materials, although your choice is limited in churchyards by the regulations.

Can you make pet memorials?

Yes, we have created many forms of animal memorials over the years, from a simple small plaque to commemorate a loved pet, right up to large memorials for famous racehorses in Newmarket.

 

MATERIALS

Which stones can I choose from for the memorial?

This very much depends on where the memorial is to be fixed. Churchyard regulations do not allow marble or polished granite headstones, so you must choose a stone such as Portland, York, Roman Stone or a honed granite such as Karin Grey. If the memorial is going into a cemetery, you generally have a wider choice of materials and polished granites are usually allowed.

What is granite?

Granite is a volcanic rock which crystallises from magma that cools slowly, deep below the earth's surface. A beautiful and varied range of colours are available, and the very hard, polished surface will remain in good condition for many years with little attention. Please be aware that polished granite is not allowed in churchyards, but is fine for cemeteries.

What is marble?

In memorial terms, marble refers to White Carrara, which is quarried in Italy. It is white in colour with grey veining. It is a porous stone, so will mellow over the years and lichen will attach itself to the stone in time. Please be aware that marble is not allowed in churchyards, but is fine for cemeteries.

What is York Stone?

York Stone is a natural stone from Yorkshire, England. It can be light brown or a blue/grey colour. It is a porous stone, so will mellow over the years and lichen will attach itself to the stone in time.

What is Portland Stone?

Portland Stone is a natural stone from Dorset, England. It is a white/grey colour, and can have fossils in it. It is a porous stone, so will mellow over the years and lichen will attach itself to the stone in time.

What is Roman Stone?

Roman Stone, or Nabresina, is a natural stone from Trieste, Italy. It is a light grey colour. It is a porous stone, so will mellow over the years and lichen will attach itself to the stone in time.

Can you make a memorial stone in slate?

Yes, we can offer Welsh Slate, which is a matt black/grey slate from the Snowdonia region. Welsh Slate is very hard and durable, although can be difficult to obtain in memorial quality, so please check for availability. We can also offer Westmorland Sea Green or Silver Green slate from the Lake District, again this is very much subject to availability.

 

INSCRIPTIONS

How are the inscriptions cut?

As standard, we offer machine-cut lettering using the latest sandblasting and stone cutting techniques. We are also happy to quote for hand cut lettering, but this is at a significant additional cost due to the labour involved.

What finishes are available for the inscriptions?

Letters can be painted (a variety of colours are available), gilded with gold leaf, or filled. Certain stones will look better with a particular finish. For example, a light stone such as Portland looks best with dark painted inscriptions.

How many letters can I have in my inscription?

Our headstone prices include up to 60 letters, machine cut and painted or gilded. Extra letters will be charged at an additional cost per letter. The number of letters in the inscription may depend on the size of the stone.

Can you make some suggestions for the wording on the memorial?

Yes, we can offer advice and examples on the wording for the memorial, based on conventions and previous work we have carried out. Please ask for any help you require.

How many fonts are available to choose from?

We can offer hundreds of font styles for the lettering. We have examples of many of these fonts in our showroom. Please be aware that fonts used on word processing software do not always match the traditional masonry font of the same name.

Can you cut other designs or carvings onto the memorial stone?

Yes, we offer a selection of traditional designs such as roses, crosses etc. We can also carve designs to specific requirements, such as military badges, pets, particularly types of flowers, or designs to depict the hobbies or interests of your loved ones. Note that designs on stones going into churchyards should be biblical in nature and not coloured.

Can I see a layout of the inscription before the stone is cut?

Yes, on your request we can supply a paper layout showing exactly how the inscription will look before we cut the stone. This will enable you to make any amendments and approve the work before we carry it out.

How do I go about having an additional inscription on an existing memorial stone?

Where an additional inscription is required on an existing headstone (e.g. where there is a shared grave space), we will normally be asked by a funeral director to take up the headstone prior to the second burial. Or in the case of ashes being interred in a grave, we will remove the stone just before commencing the work. The stone will be returned to our yard, where we will await instruction on the inscription to be added to the memorial. Once the ground has settled again (minimum 6 months), we will return to refix the headstone with the new inscription added.

 

FIXING

Do you offer a memorial fixing service?

Yes, our dedicated memorial fixing team have many decades of experience in fixing memorials, ensuring a professional finish to your tribute to your loved one. Our fitters are NAMM and BRAMM registered.

What are NAMM and BRAMM?

NAMM is the National Association of Memorial Masons. BRAMM is the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons. All memorial fixers must be BRAMM registered in order to comply with the latest guidelines for fixing memorial stones.

Do I need to apply for permission to have a memorial fixed?

Permission must be sought from all churchyards and cemeteries for allowing either the erection of a new memorial or alterations such as adding a new inscription to an existing stone. Ivett & Reed will make an application to the relevant authority on your behalf, so there is no need for you to also ask for permission. Cemeteries and churchyards also charge a fee for permission to allow the work to take place.

Who pays the fees to the churchyard or cemetery?

Ivett & Reed will arrange to pay the fees to the relevant churchyard and cemetery on your behalf. These fees are then passed on to you, at cost, as part of your final invoice.

What area will you cover for fixing memorials?

Most of our work is carried out within an approximately 50 mile radius of Cambridge. However, distance is no object for our memorial fixing team, and we are happy to quote to fix in locations further afield.

Will you tell me when you are going to fix the memorial?

As a general rule, it is not possible to notify clients when we are going to fix the memorial. This is because our fixing schedules are organised according to the location of the work currently on the books (e.g. if we have 2 or 3 jobs in the same area, it makes sense to fix them all on the same day). Additionally, our schedules are very much dependent on the weather, so we could plan to fix on a certain day, but heavy rain, snow or ice may make this impossible. However, if you have a particular reason why you wish to be notified prior to fixing, please ask and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Is there insurance available for my memorial?

Yes, we can arrange memorial insurance through Stoneguard, which offers cover against vandalism, theft, impact, storm damage and ground movement. The cover is for 5 years and starts from £28, with the average cost of a standard lawn memorial being £71. We send a leaflet about the insurance with your final invoice. You are under no obligation to take out insurance, so we leave the decision entirely up to you.

Do you carry out renovation work on existing memorials?

Yes. We are happy to quote to clean or renovate any memorial stones, from simple lawn memorial headstone up to large war memorials. Please contact us, notifying us the name on the stone and where it is located. Note that if the stone just needs dirt or lichen removed, this is often possible to do yourself with a scrubbing brush and water. Please do not use household cleaners though, as their acidic properties will damage the stone. If you are unsure, please ask for advice.

Do you have to remove the memorial in order to clean it?

This depends on the level of renovation work required. It is possible to clean some memorials in situ. Re-gilding or re-painting, particularly on granites which do not required much cleaning, is often carried out on site during the summer months. However if the memorial is particularly dirty or damaged, it will be necessary to remove the memorial and return it to our works.

 

ACCESSORIES

Do you sell the metal flower containers to go in the round slot in a headstone base?

Yes, these are available in 2 sizes and with gold, silver, black, blue or grey tops. They are for sale from our showroom.

Do you sell lanterns?

Yes, we offer a range of bronze lanterns, including solar powered models. Please call in to see the range available.

Do you sell the marble and bronze miniature statues?

Yes, a wide range of designs of statues are for sale from our showroom, and we can order in any other designs from our supplier’s extensive catalogue.

I need some of the stone chippings to cover a grave space. Do you sell these?

Yes. We keep in stock chippings in glass (green), marble (white) and granite (grey/red). 2 x 25kg bags of chippings are required to cover an average sized headstone & kerb type grave space.

 

PLAQUES & COMMEMORATIVE STONES

Do you make house plaques?

Yes. We can make house name or number plaques from any material of your choice, and in any shape or size you require. We have a selection of ‘standard’ materials and sizes for house plaques which are very competitively priced. For more bespoke plaques, we can price each job individually. Please contact us with your requirements, or visit our showroom.

How about a larger plaque, for example to commemorate an opening?

We can also carry out larger work, for example a plaque to commemorate an opening or occasion, or large stone signs for commercial buildings. Company logos can even be carved onto the stone. Please contact us for a quotation.

Do you get involved with work on war memorials?

Yes, we regularly undertake work on war memorials, in terms of both new memorials and renovations. We are happy to tender to undertake work for parish or town councils, so please get in touch with details of your project.