At Sarsfield Memorials we get many requests to clean headstones, but there are occasions when it is more cost effective to consider a complete memorial replacement instead.
If your memorial is in otherwise good condition apart from being covered in dirt, then cleaning is more than likely the better option. However, sometimes there are other factors to take into consideration that can increase the basic cost. Providing you are no sentimental about keeping the headstone, on these occasions you should consider whether memorial replacement would be a better option.
Many older headstones are not anchored to the ground to NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) standards. Nowadays most local authorities will not allow any memorials removed for restoration to be re-fixed to the ground using the original anchoring if it does not meet the modern day criteria. The cost element of the anchoring as part of a new headstone package is cheaper than if done as a one off individual job.
Another thing to take into consideration is if the lettering on the headstone is damaged. If letters need replacing in addition to the cleaning, this will increase the cost, whereas for new memorials a certain number are included in the package. Memorial replacement is also a better cost option if the headstone is made from a material that has corroded, causing lettering to fade with it. The cost of getting the material nice and smooth again, then carving the lettering could be far more than ordering a whole new memorial.
The recent replacement of the headstone for Alex Raisbeck, captain of Liverpool FC’s first title winning side in 1901, is a case in point. When his long forgotten grave was located by the LFC Graves Society in Anfield Cemetery in September 2016 it was in a very poor state. As the image on the right shows, the lettering was barely legible as the stone had worn away so much. When a fan placed a hand on the headstone it part of it crumbled.
Three months after the grave was found, a new headstone was erected after Raisbeck’s grandson had been traced. The new memorial is made from shiny black granite that is easy to clean, anchored to NAMM standards and the sandblasted letters are easy to read. The cost of this new headstone, was far cheaper than restoring the old one.
Sarsfield Memorials provides a range of packages for memorial replacement, including providing a new one in identical design to the old one. If you would like to discuss replacing a headstone please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements. We will also provide a free no obligation quote for both renovation and renewal so you can compare and make a decision about which way you wish to proceed.