Slate is a wonderful alternative to some of the more common forms of materials used for memorials. Slate memorials are of supreme quality and extremely durable against the elements, providing a lasting tribute to your loved one.
Slate memorials can be cut to a range of shapes, including rectangle, square, or oval. The tops can be rounded, gently curved, or angled. Alternatively, the slate can be left in its natural shape, which means chipped edges. Care does have to be taken when shaping the slate, so non rectangle designs do tend to cost more.
Traditionally letters on slate headstones are hand carved to a deep v cut letter. Some families will request an artistic style of lettering, so the memorial has an artisan look to it, other families prefer a simple bold letter.
Although it can be unforgiving when mistakes are made, for the skilled mason it is a fabulous material to work on, it is a very tactile material. Letters can also be sandblasted which gives a more rounded effect. This is not our preferred method to letter a slate memorial, but we can offer it, if the family prefer. Lettering on slate is either
‘left from the tool’ once carved, which means it has no colour, or it is painted white or silver. We can gild it if required, but that would not be a traditional finish to the lettering.
Grey slate from North Wales is often used for memorials. However, at Sarsfield Memorials the type we receive the most requests for are Cumbrian or Lakeland Green slate, from the Lake District. This is very versatile when it comes to carving and it combines well with the cemetery landscape. Green slate is never polished, but instead rubbed down to keep smooth. It can be cleaned easily and does not lose its colour due to weathering.
One third of the height of slate memorials go under the ground to keep it secure. The memorial can be easily removed if additional inscriptions are needed, without fear of damage. You can add a base if you wish, so that it looks like a lawn memorial and would be fixed in the normal way on a concrete foundation and an anchoring system.
Sarsfield Memorials have a wide range of slate options, whilst we can also bespoke them to your requirements. Please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss with you and provide a free no obligation quote.