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Headstones and Monuments Throughout Time

When one thinks about headstones and monuments, the thought of granite slabs or upright slab designs may come to mind. This makes sense because this is the current standard for the modern headstone. However, a cemetery burial with a monument that simply said your name, birth date, and death date wasn’t always the norm.

Today, let’s take some time to appreciate the evolution of the monument craft and how certain designs and styles have changed over time. Who knows, you may even find some inspiration for a monument you are planning for you or a loved one.

Early Burial Plots

There weren’t always cemeteries or churchyards were families could honor their dead with a custom monument. The early solutions for burying the dead were to create plots near a family homestead. These graves could be identified as mounds marked with stone or wood.

Through these now primitive monuments, headstones evolved to be marked with the deceased’s name, age, and death date. These backyard burial plots eventually evolved into churchyard burials where large tombstones created from slate or sandstone were used. These types of monuments were popular from the 1600s-the early 1900s.

Victorian Era

The 19th century saw the thriving times of the Victorian era. Especially for headstones and monuments, this was the time for custom designs and extravagance. The whole approach to death in this period was with the utmost respect and adoration for those being honored.

Cemeteries in the Victorian era boasted lavish gravestones and sculpted monuments that made the presentation of this location seem more like a park than sacred ground. Some of the most prominent designs that could be found in Victorian cemeteries were:

  • The Eye of Horus
  • The Angel of Death
  • Weeping Willow Trees
  • Ornate Swords
  • Broken Columns

The main point of these designs was to represent the person’s social class, occupation, religious values, or other areas of their life that were important to them.

Slate Stone Colonial Graves

In the earlier stages of gravestones, they were usually reserved for use by upper and middle-class individuals. However, during the Colonial era, there was a sharp rise in craftsmen that were handy enough to create grave markers for people of all classes wanting to commemorate the life of a loved one.

One interesting fact about Colonial graveyards is that they were filled in order of need. The current practice of selling lots to families was something that was implemented some time after.

These gravestones were smaller than the Victorian monuments and were created from softer stones that were easy to cut and carve. It was later that monument makers realized that granite materials proved to last longer against the natural elements.

The Monument Store Practices Modern, Lasting, Headstone Creation

If you or a loved one are planning the creation of a custom monument, put your trust in the staff at The Monument Store. Our manufacturers have the capabilities to create custom headstones or monuments that can fit most desired needs. Contact us today to find out how to start the creative process.