Heart shaped headstones have become increasingly popular in cemeteries in recent decades. They have their origins in the Sacred Heart of Christ which to Roman Catholics demonstrates his divine love of humanity. However they also have their relevance in a secular age, with the heart signifying everlasting love and endearment amongst families.
The best material for heart shaped headstones is granite, which cuts to shape and can have letters inscribed easily. Granite is extremely hard wearing and stands up well to the adverse weather conditions of a British winter. Regular cleaning will help it maintain its shine for many years.
Heart shaped headstones come in various sizes. They can be standalone, but due to their shape and cemetery regulations regarding anchoring and foundation, it is much more practical that they come on a base. They aren’t necessarily just a plain heart shape, but may have additional features such as a weeping or praying angel, or be part of a memorial containing a cross for example. A broken heart signifies the loss of a loved one. They usually stand upright but can be backwards leaning or even lying almost flat. Flat ones are ideal for cremated remains plots.
Additional features incorporated into heart shaped headstones may be flower holders or even kerb sets, which can subsequently be filled with chippings and other ornamentation. Please remember however that the number of cemeteries where kerb sets are permitted is reducing, with local authorities often citing easier grounds maintenance as the reason.
It is not just regular memorials that have a demand for heart shaped headstones. On a much smaller scale, the heart shape could instead be used for a photo plaque or a small memorial plaque for a pet’s grave.
One thing that must be taken into consideration with heart shaped headstones is that there is less room for additional inscriptions to be added in future years. So although granite is an easy material for etching of letters, realistically three names is the most that they can accommodate, unless you have much shorter epitaphs. Most grave plots in local authority cemeteries can accommodate up to six interments as a mixture of regular burials and cremated remains, so this is certainly something to be aware of when purchasing heart shaped headstones.
You could get around the problem of limited space by having a double heart memorial, or increasing the height size, but this will have cost implications. There is also the possibility that such memorials may not be in line with cemetery height/width regulations with maximum heights now usually being two feet six inches to three feet.
Alberti, Lupton & Co are a family run business spanning five generations that have been in operation for 110 years. We have the largest range of memorials in Manchester on display at our premises. These include a wide selection of heart shaped headstones of varying styles and sizes. Please contact us and we will be attentive to your needs and happy to discuss your options and arrange a quote. Due to Covid 19 however please be aware our showroom is only open by appointment only.