Spring Cleaning in Cemeteries

Spring is a time when many tasks that have been left undone during the dark drab months of winter are completed. One of those can be tending to your loved one’s memorial; this may mean getting a new one altogether, cleaning the headstone and urn, leaving fresh flowers and clipping the grass around the edges.

Cemeteries are nice, colourful and fresh in the spring, with flowers blooming to brighten up weather beaten gravestones. The grass is freshly cut and days are longer and brighter, everything just looks so much tidier and neater. This is exactly what the Victorian landscapers had in mind when they designed the cemeteries where our loved ones are remembered today. In today’s less God fearing, it has also created an ambiance where cemeteries can be places where the lives of the deceased who rest there can be celebrated rather than mourned.

If you’re loved one’s grave remains without a headsA headstone before and after it was cleaned by Sarsfield Memorials craftsmentone, spring is the perfect time to have a new one installed as the ground is much more settled and firmer than in the winter. If the memorial is being fixed to a concrete base, then it is always advisable to install this during seasons when frost and heavy rain are less likely. The conditions in spring are also much more suitable for refurbishment of existing headstones, whether it be removing them to inscribe new lettering, or fixing a new ground anchor.

Sarsfield Memorials provide a range of options for new headstones and refurbishment of existing ones. If you require a new standard headstone then we can usually have these installed within six weeks of you placing an order, so late February/early March is an ideal time to consider having one that will be ready in April. If all you need is for an existing gravestone to be cleaned up, this can usually be done sooner. We also provide grave tending services if you are unable to get to the cemetery yourself due to time, distance or health constraints.  Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a free no obligation quote.

Choosing a Material For Your Headstone

Headstones today come in a variety of materials and when choosing what to use for your loved one’s memorial a number of factors need to be taken into account.

Granite is a popular choice of material due to it being such a hard material, it is available in a wide range of colours and can be polished, honed or pitched. It is also far easier to source nowadays, bringing costs down for masons meaning those savings can be passed on to you. Cemeteries are usually flexible in the types of material allowed when it comes to headstoGrey Granite everton shield shaped grave stonenes, some Churchyards may not allow it. Granite is very durable it is easy for a family to maintain and it will look good for years to come. The lettering over time will require some maintenance if it has been gilded or coloured, but this can easily be done in the cemetery by an experienced mason.

Marble headstones are white with grey veins and are unpolished. Cemeteries and most Churchyards allow marble memorials. Marble is a crystalised limestone so it is a porous material, overtime the marble will discolour if not maintained, a family can maintain a marble gravestone with a masons advice. Alternatively the family may ask a mason to periodically clean and refurbish the memorial to keep it looking in excellent condition. Traditionally a marble headstone will have a cut and leaded letter, a technique we still use at Sarsfield Memorials. Some masons will cut and paint the lettering, but this will wear away very quickly so it is an ongoing cost to have the lettering painted.

White Marble Heart

Other materials allowed in Cemeteries and Churchyards are Nabresina, Portland Stone, Yorkstone and Slate. These materials are not as popular in the Merseyside area as they are in other areas of the country. If you would like a traditional style gravestone then these materials are the most suitable.

Although marble and stone are more prone to the elements than granite, that should not mean you eliminate them completely when making your headstone choice. With the correct care and attention, they are made to last. If the wrong materials are used for cleaning memorials then you can contaminate the stone and can damage your headstone beyond repair. It is always advisable to ask your experienced mason how to maintain your gravestone.

At Sarsfield’s we have samples of all of the stones mentioned, allowing you to look and handle the material to see which you prefer. You can also see photographs of our work which we have completed, with these options available and our knowledge we hope we can help you make the right decision when choosing a gravestone. Please contact us for a free no obligation quotation.

Grave Tending for Christmas

Christmas is a time when family members may want to remember their loved ones by paying a visit to the grave. However factors such as location, age, disability and time can make this difficult. At Sarsfield memorials though we can give you peace of mind by laying a wreath or any other floral arrangements for you and ensure that the grave is suitably maintained.

Our basic ChristmasIMG_0237 grave tending costs £50 and involves a visit to the grave between 14th December and 24th December, where a 12 inch holly wreath will be laid. We will also remove all dead plants, flowers and leaf litter, and clean and empty vases. For an extra cost, fresh flowers can also be placed there in addition to the wreath. The grass will be trimmed and edged around the headstone, which will be lightly cleaned with soap and water.

A photograph will be taken at the beginning and end of the tending visit so you can see what has been done, and you will also be provided with a written report on the condition of the gravestone. This means that you are made aware at the earliest opportunity of any damage or remedial work that may be required.

In addition to Sarsfield Memorials’ basic Christmas grave tending service, there are additional options that are available for an extra charge. These include leaving artificial flowers and plants, replacing vases, planting bulbs or leaving additional flowers or holly crosses.

Sarsfield Memorials has a year round grave tending service, with a tiered price structure depending on how frequently it is required.  All options involve the same sIMG_0236ervice as the Christmas visit (except for the wreath). The bronze option sees us tend to the grave annually, silver involves quarterly visits, while gold is for those who would like the grave tended to monthly. Discounts are available for more than one grave.

As well as the grave tending, we are also able to carry out turfing work around the memorial, add topsoil, replace chippings, or give the headstone a full chemical clean. If necessary, we can re-anchor or level the headstone too.

Please contact us for further information about our Christmas or year round grave tending service and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and give you a free no obligation quote.