How Long Should I Leave the Ground to Settle Before Erecting a Memorial Headstone?

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Cope Memorials

How soon can I erect a headstone after burial?

Before placing a memorial headstone directly onto a burial grave to remember a loved one, there is a recommended waiting period of at least 6 months. However, this is a minimum recommendation; we advise waiting a little longer (around 12 months), as this will better allow for the ground to settle. This advised wait period of between 6 to 12 months is not only to ensure the earth has had time to settle, but to also give the best possible chance of preventing grave sinking. Headstones that are erected too early can cause grave subsidence or sinking, and increase the risk of the headstone leaning forward over time. Grave sinking can be very distressing and understandably you want a nice, peaceful place to visit your loved one.

For cremated remains, there is not an advised waiting period before a memorial is erected. Memorial headstones for cremated remains can be immediately fitted after the burial of ashes. In addition, if there is a concrete plinth at the back of the grave, a headstone can be fitted immediately after the burial and no wait period is required.

Why are headstones and memorial plaques important?

Headstones are important because they provide somewhere we can visit to remember our loved one. As human beings, we place great significance and importance on feeling like we, and our loved ones, have left a mark on the world; a headstone is the perfect opportunity for us to do that.

How can I choose the right type of gravestone for my loved one?

After a funeral or burial, the next step for many families to start thinking about is how best to commemorate their loved one with a plaque, memorial monument or gravestone. As this headstone is intended to last for many generations, we advise waiting longer before you begin to fit a headstone for your loved one. This is to ensure its longevity and means that the end result will be there for an extended period of time. 

Here at Cope Memorials, we understand that choosing the right type of headstone for your loved one can be tricky, especially at such an extremely difficult and upsetting time. There are so many different options available for you to choose from, including standing, flat, cremation or kerbed. Before purchasing a memorial, it is important to consider the types of material used, the design of the headstone and how you would like it inscribed. We want to help simplify this process for you, which is why we are always on hand to offer expert knowledge and guide you through the process.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about our headstones, or have any further questions about the services we offer at Cope Memorials, please get in touch with our friendly team and give us a call on 01773 602 187, or fill out our online enquiry form.