Frequently Asked Questions
We have tried to cover all possible question and the most commonly asked questions we have encountered over the years. If for any reason you can not find the answer you are looking for, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help and answer any questions you might have.
Please click on the required question below to reveal the answer.
- What is a churchyard/cemetery permit?
A churchyard/cemetery application form. This is specific to the churchyard or cemetery concerned and shows the proposed work to be carried out which is signed by the registered owner of the cremation plot or grave.
- What are the churchyard/cemetery rules and regulations used for?
The rules and regulations are to ensure that every memorial fitted complies with the rules and regulations set by the Local Burial Authority or Churchyard concerned. We understand this can be a difficult process and offer to deal with this on your behalf, any fee’s due for the permit will be chargeable to you.In some cases where additional inscriptions are required or a replacement headstone is needed fee’s are waved depending on the authority involved.
- What do I do if I want something the rules and regulations won't allow?
Most Burial Authorities and Churchyards are extremely strict on the enforcement of their rules and regulations regarding memorial headstones for graves. Should this be the case we can help you with any requests.
- What will we get for the price you quote us?
All our prices include the memorial headstone, the inscription up to 100 letters for the first deceased, one flower container, one design from our Stencil Designs Library, fixing in the cemetery or churchyard plus VAT. Please note: Some cemeteries and/or churchyards charge a fee for the introduction of a new memorial or for the work to be carried out on an existing memorial. In such circumstances we will add any third party charges at cost.
- Are there any hidden costs?
No – Somerville Stone Ltd are professional memorial masons, we pride ourselves on our undisputed reputation for openness, honesty and transparency. All our customers will be informed of the whole cost before any work or payment is completed. All quotations are guaranteed and in writing for your total peace of mind.
- What will i receive as a memorial proof?
Somerville Stone always produce a computer generated proof to display to our client the proposed layout of the inscription with any design work’s also positioned on the memorial. This is known as the ‘Client’s Proof’. The client checks all the details very carefully, signs it as correct and returns it to us. The signed proof will then become the order copy we work to complete your memorial.
- Do we have a choice of Colours and Materials?
Somerville Stone offer a vast range of materials and tasteful colours to our customers. Please note: Some colours and materials may not always be suitable for certain locations or could be restricted by your Burial Authority or Churchyard Rules and Regulations – we will advise you about any restrictions.
- Which material would you recommend we use for our memorial?
We normally recommend granite due to it being very hard wearing and also polishes to a beautifully reflective finish to bring out its true natural beauty.
- How long will the inscribed lettering actually last?
Unfortunately there is no exact answer as this depends on several factors like the type and style of the memorial including its material and location. For example, lettering on a flat plaque/tablet will be far more susceptible to damage from acid rain and including dirt and dust settling into the letters than would be the case with a vertical headstone. However, our lettering is engraved deeply enough to allow for any future re-gilding or re-painting if requested.
- What is a Ground Anchor used for?
A special mandatory NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) accredited stainless steel ground anchor which conforms to current Health & Safety guidelines which prevents a memorial being deliberately pushed over.
- How do I pay for my memorial?
As with most businesses, we always take a deposit with an order. Our normal deposit taken before we process an order is 50%. In some circumstances we may be able to help by accepting installments however the order will not be processed until 50% of the deposit has been achieved.
- What happens once the memorial has been completed?
Once the memorial has been manufactured to your exact specifications as detailed in your proof we will arrange a fixing date with you. Upon completion of the fixing one of our staff will contact you so that you can visit the memorial and give us your approval, once approved we will invoice you for the outstanding settlement.
- How will I know when the memorial has been fitted?
We will contact our clients on the same day their memorial is fixed either by phone, email or letter, once the memorial is fixed we will take pictures and send them to the client.
- What happens if my memorial tilts over in the future?
Unfortunately the ground in churchyards and cemetery’s are always being disturbed so therefore ground settlement can occur. Our policy is to level up our memorials, free of charge at anytime within two years of fixing the memorial.
- Do you offer a Pre-Payment Plan?
Yes. Pre payment plans can be agreed in some circumstances however the memorial will only be fixed once all payments have been received.
- Can I have my memorial insured?
Yes. Somerville Stone offer memorial insurance through Stone Guard a reputable insurance company to insure your memorial for a VERY modest price.
- What do I do if I do not know my grave/plot number?
Most Local Burial Authorities have current and historic details of the numbered graves and plots in their cemeteries. However, the same cannot be said of all churchyards. If you are unsure please ask us for help.
- Will my memorial have a guarantee?
Yes, we provide a conditional 30 Year Written Guarantee with all our memorials. Please ask us for further details.
- Are Somerville Stone members of any trade organisations?
Yes, we are respected Members of NAMM (The National Association of Memorial Masons), we are also listed on the BRAMM Register (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) and we are listed on the Register of Qualified Memorial Fixers. This ensures the fact that you can order from us with complete and absolute trust and confidence.
- Do you offer a memorial renovation and cleaning service?
Yes, we will always carry out an initial site visit and create a report that we can sit down and discuss with our customers.
- Do you offer a bespoke memorials service?
Yes, subject only to the specific cemetery and/or churchyard rules and regulations.
- Is it possible to have a picture of the deceased put on the memorial?
Yes, working from an original photo supplied by our customers, we produce a ceramic photo plaque which is fixed to the memorial. The original photo is unaffected by the process and returned to our customer. We also offer hand etched images including lazer etched images. Please take into consideration: Some churchyards do not allow this facility – please ask us for advice.