How much does a Headstone cost ?

All the headstones, gravestones, and memorials that I make are unique bespoke and handcarved individual pieces of work. When a client asks me how much it will cost, this will depend on the following factors: On average a small single plaque or headstone will start from about £2000 upwards depending on requirements. Installation and cemetery costs are at an additional cost. Consultations and designs can be done online.

1. The cost will depend on how many words are involved and the complexity of the headstone design. Some people charge by the number of letters and others will give you an overall cost. I will give the client an estimate of the costs involved and this may change as the discussions progress.

2.  The price will also depend on what type of stone is to be used for the headstone. Some people may prefer to choose a cheaper material such as Portland limestone which is not as expensive as Italian Carrara marble.

3.  The cost will also vary according to the size of the headstone required. Naturally, the bigger the headstone the more expensive. There are, however, cemetery regulations regarding the maximum size of a headstone and these costs may differ depending on the location.

4. Is installation required ? I do not provide installation but I can arrange it with a local mason who will install the headstone for you and this will be at additional cost.

5. The cost will also include the cemetery fees. All cemeteries or churchyards will charge the client a fee for the plot. They will also ask to see the overall design for the headstone before the work begins as there are regulations about materials, size and wording.

6. If the headstone is to be sent to other parts or the UK or overseas, there will be additional costs for delivery which include packing, postage and insurance.

7. With regards to payment, I will ask for a 50% deposit before the work begins to cover the cost of the stone and the consultations, drawings and design. Once the work is completed, the balance of the fees will be due before installation.

The process of comissioning a Headstone

The process of commissiong a headstone is a long and collaborative process with the client which may take many months. It is important to think about how you want to remember the deceased and to find an appropriate epitaph.

The grieving process is long and you will need time to reflect and you may change your mind as time moves on. I often recommend to a client to wait for at least six months after the death before they decide on commissing a headstone.

There will be several consultations to discuss the design. I will then provide draft drawings for discussion and contact the cemetery with the draft design.

I will select the stone and start the carving process which may take many months depending on the design and size of the headstone. Some may include intricate reliefs.

Once the headstone is made, I will arrange installation with a local mason if required. I often use the monolith method where the stone is installed directly into the ground and has no base but also other methods such as plinths if required.


Simon Burns-Cox is a Sculptor and Letter Carver based at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland. He makes bespoke handcarved Gravestones, Memorials, Headstone and Plaques in all sizes and dimensions. If you would like to discuss your requirements further, please contact Simon through his website link below. All work can be done online with detailed drawings available. Simon Burns-Cox can be contacted at