The most popular materials for headstones in the UK Cemeteries and churchyards are Granite and Marble. Granite is usually the shiny polished headstone material and comes in a variety of colours. The white unpolished headstone material is marble.
Marble is very good for carving and so headstones made of this can be very elaborate. The down side to marble headstones is that they weather over the years and so can not be looked upon as everlasting.
Granite is one of the oldest, most durable and most respected of building materials. Traditionally, it is the material chosen by both architects and engineers when permanence, enduring colour and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements. And granite is ageless - always contemporary. We stock dartmoor granite.
The granite industry is keeping pace with architectural progress and changing demands. Technological developments have revolutionised quarrying and fabrication methods, reducing costs and leading to new applications.
Granite is an igneous rock. It is formed as a result of the slow crystallisation of molten magma at depth in the earth's crust. Uplift and erosion has over millions of years resulted in this material outcropping at the surface. The minerals which make up granite are generally quartz, felspars and various mafic minerals (amphiboles, pyroxenes, micas and secondary materials). It is the size, distribution and precise chemistry of these minerals which give the granite it's colour. The silica content of granite should be at least 70%. In the stone industry "granite" has been a term applied to almost all igneous rocks and schists. Traditionally any very hard crystalline rock (quartz based as opposed to marble, calcite based) possessing the following characteristics:-
- No apparent natural jointing, being difficult to work without special tools.
- Takes a high polish.
- Extremely resistant to natural weathering.