Existing memorial stones

Whether you want to add to an existing memorial or are concerned about its condition, at AB Walker we can inspect, clean, renovate and add inscriptions to keep it looking as you would like

Already have a memorial?

Once you have a memorial to a loved one in a churchyard or cemetery, you might need further work completed on the memorial later down the line. This could be to add an inscription, temporarily remove the headstone or tablet, or to undertake remedial work. We work with accredited masons to complete any required work.

Inspection and remedial work

Memorials are built to last, but over time they can weather. Inscriptions may fade and the stone itself may need repair. We can help you keep your memorial in top condition and last longer.

The first step we take is to carry out a free-of-charge inspection to assess the condition of your memorial. So that the inspection can take place, we will ask for the grave number (if located in a cemetery), a map, or photos to find and identify the location of the grave and your memorial stone. It can take 3-4 weeks for an inspection to be done.

You will then receive a no-obligation quote for any work required, based on the inspection findings and your requirements. At AB Walker, we’ll only carry out necessary work, and make sure that you know upfront exactly what you’ll need to pay. Even for work on existing memorials, an application usually has to be submitted to the cemetery or church. We’ll advise you of these requirements and any fees that they charge.

If you decide to go ahead with work, we’ll ask you to return a signed copy of the quote and the completed churchyard or cemetery application form along with payment. How long it takes for an application to be granted varies depending on the churchyard or cemetery but may take up to a month. Once it has been granted we will then be able to give you an estimated date for completing the work.

All work is undertaken by our experienced monumental masons. Once they have completed the work on your memorial stone, we will let you know and send a photo so you can see the difference.

Temporary removal of a memorial stone

Sometimes a headstone or tablet has to be temporarily removed – such as for ashes interment (burial of ashes) or for a new burial in a double or family plot. You may also wish to add a new inscription. We can remove the memorial stone, add any new inscription and store it safely until it is ready to be fixed back in place.

Before we remove the headstone or tablet we will take a photo and check the condition so you can be assured that we will look after it. We will ask for the grave number (if located in a cemetery), a map, or photos to find and identify the location of the grave and your memorial stone.

If you would like a new inscription added, we can provide you with a quote. Upon acceptance and payment, we will arrange for our masons to add the inscription whilst they are looking after your memorial stone. We will match the style of the existing lettering as closely as possible, and a proof will be shared with you before the new inscription is added.

Choosing the inscription wording is a very personal decision. You may already know exactly what you would like to add; if not, these inscription examples may help give you some ideas.

A period of time needs to be allowed between the burial of a loved one and the memorial stone being fixed back in place. This is for ground settlement and can range from 6-12 months or more, depending on the type of headstone and time of year.

We’ll explain all of this before we remove your memorial stone so that you are clear on what to expect, the likely timescales and the costs upfront.

Grave ownership

Cemeteries require an application for any work on a memorial stone, signed by the living registered grave owner.

If this is you, then we will provide you with the relevant form to complete and sign, and submit the application for you.

If you are unsure of ownership or believe the person who had died to be the current owner, you will need to contact the cemetery directly. A transfer of exclusive rights and ownership may be required in order for permission to be granted.

Existing memorials FAQs

Yes, you can use hot soapy water and a non-abrasive cloth or sponge – just take extra care around any painted lettering. Alternatively, you can contact us about our Grave tending service to help you keep your memorial in good condition.

Memorials form

If you are interested in finding out more about our memorial masonry services please fill in our memorial stones form or contact us on 0118 957 3650.