HISTORY OF GRAVESTONES
Gravestones have been around for thousands of years and began when the deceased was buried near the home. The grave was marked with a stele or marker made from stone or wood. This was usually placed over the grave as a mark of respect and to stop the deceased from rising. The gravestone is also referred to as a grave marker, headstone or tombstone. In the case of two graves, it is known as a memorial marker, companion headstone, double deep marker or headstone for two.
Churchyards began in the Norman times when it was recognised that there was money to be made. Bodies were then placed in public cemeteries. The graves were usually marked with simple, slender headstones made from sandstone or slate and were a sign of wealth.
Over time, gravestones became more elaborate. The name, date of birth and death and a message or prayer were often carved into the gravestone. The headstone was made from a range of stones such as fieldstones, granite, marble and limestone, sandstone, slate, or other material such as iron, bronze or wood. Funerary art such as a bas relief carving was used and later on photographs of the deceased where attached to the gravestone which can still be found in Europe. Names of the relatives were often added over the years making a chronological timetable of the passing of the family over the decades.
TYPES OF GRAVESTONES
Flush or Flat or Lawn-Level Marker which are at ground level
Bevel Marker where one side is slightly raised
Slant Marker which is similar to the Bevel Marker but is taller and larger
Ledger Marker which is a thick slab covering the grave
Standard Stone which is a simple tablet set into the ground
Domed Tablet which is a dome-shaped stone
Shoulder Tablet which has an angled top
Gothic Tablet stones or Obelisks which are tall columns.