Skip to main content


How To Choose A Burial Vault Without Overspending

How To Choose A Burial Vault Without Overspending

How To Choose A Burial Vault Without Overspending

Making burial arrangements for a loved one you recently lost is overwhelming and devastating. There are so many emotions involved, and budgeting may be the last thing on your mind. During times like this, people normally do not think about the cost incurred but only after the funeral services, only to realize that they have overspent. However, there are ways in which you can avoid overspending, especially on a burial vault.

A burial vault is among the costly things you need to pay for your departed loved one. There’s a common misconception that how much you spend on someone’s burial measures how much you love them, but this isn’t true. You can still show appreciation and genuine care even on a budget.

Hence, the following tips will help you choose a burial vault for your loved one without overspending:

  1. Compare The Prices Of Different Companies

You can get good prices for the vault just by examining your choices. The burial vault cost of one company differs from that of another. You don’t have to pick a deal blindly but rather go over all available options within your budget range. Compare the prices and pick one that you feel comfortable with.

You also need to ensure you are paying for good quality. Quality doesn’t have to be sacrificed if you are on a tight budget. Please share your thoughts and situation with the burial vault provider so they provide options for you that meet your financial requirements.

Remember, burial vaults are made of different materials. As you review the offerings of different companies, ask questions about the material used and what type is within your budget range. For instance, compare prices between marble and wood and ask for the pros and cons of each material. For sure, they’ll have an extensive product range and a lot of options when it comes to quality workmanship.

  1. Personalization Is Optional

Personalizing the vault is optional, even if your loved one asked to be buried in a vault. As long as it’s of good quality, you don’t have to pay for an intricate or extravagant design, such as imprinting a photo of your dearly departed loved one. Designs and images will require additional cost for you. If you really must consider adding personal designs to the vault, always negotiate the rate so you would go overboard with your budget.

  1. Compare The Vault Material

Burial vaults are made from hard plastic, concrete, or metal. The prices of each of these materials vary. Concrete burial vaults are the most common and are slightly expensive. Plastics are the cheapest, and the metal differs in price depending on the metal type. A steel vault is cheaper compared to a copper or titanium one.

The material used will determine how much the burial vault will be. Pick the material that best suits the amount you have. Rest assured that whatever material you decide on will serve the same purpose–a special place for your loved one.

  1. Utilize Technology

Take advantage of the digital tools you have at your disposal. If you want to save time in comparing prices and avoid visiting various providers, you can go online and review their websites.

Websites of various burial vault providers may also come with testimonials or reviews from previous customers. Their comments and suggestions may come in handy in choosing what’s best for your loved one.

You may also find additional information online, such as the company’s history, payment plans, and contact details. If you have difficulty interpreting the website, call the contact number on the website for more details.

  1. Avoid The Pressure From Others

Burial planning may have you thinking, ‘what will people think?’ The opinions of relatives and friends are appreciated, but what matters is that you are providing the best possible resting place for your loved one and still following a decent budget. Come up with a budget-friendly decision while still showing your genuine love and care.

The ceremony can be a simple event, honouring the good memories of your dearly departed loved one.


Burial vaults can be quite expensive and may strain your budget but rest assured that options are always readily available for you, especially if you are following a budget. Therefore, when deciding on the burial vault you’ll take, you’d want to research online to compare the prices and the vault material. Also, note that personalisation is an option. The important thing is you are providing a good resting place for your loved one. Call Olympia Marble today for more information about burial vaults.

What Is The History Behind Burial Vaults?

What Is The History Behind Burial Vaults?

What Is The History Behind Burial Vaults?

The cemetery and final resting place of your loved one holds sentimental value. Burial sites, even for those cremated, are essential, especially if you plan on visiting the area often. You may hear burial companies speak of a vault during your burial arrangements. It is a requirement for many cemeteries, and it should be part of your planning.

What Are Burial Vaults?

You’re probably wondering—what do burial vaults look like?

A burial vault, usually rectangular, is made of hard plastic, metal, concrete, or any material that lasts long in the ground and won’t degrade with time. It is placed before you lower the casket for support and acts as an outer casing to protect the coffin.

Cemeteries typically have heavy foot traffic and machinery moving above them. A casket alone is at risk of deteriorating and breaking down from excessive weight or natural causes. Here, the vault acts as a liner. Additionally, it prevents the cemetery ground from settling or collapsing.

Burial vaults are not a modern-day invention. They come with a rich history, and you can read on to know more about it.

Early Grave Vaults

In the 1700s, people were buried with their valuables. It led to a rise in grave robbers who wanted the valuables to sell at a profit. As a precaution, people started reinforcing the graves with burial vaults, which were referred to as rough boxes or burial containers at that time. It was a feasible solution compared to hiring guards or putting alarms on the grave.

With the onset of burial vaults, theft reduced, and grave diggers recognized the stability the grounds gained with this type of solution. It became a solution for the uneven grounds when new graves were being prepared. For the above reasons and the superstition that ghouls were roaming the cemetery grounds, using a burial vault became a norm and even compulsory in some cemeteries.

The burial vaults you find today are more personalized. You can have photos or words of your loved one imprinted on them. The most common material for vaults is concrete, followed by metal and plastic. You can have it styled with decorated handles, cover emblems, and a personal nameplate.

Modern Grave Vaults

Andrew Van Bibber initiated the modern grave vaults. In 1878, he built and patented a burial vault made of welded steel that prevented grave robbery.

A few years later, a sealable vault that was fully enclosed was designed. Its main feature was that it kept the casket free of graveside elements and water. This design was the most used one until 1999 when a lightweight plastic vault was introduced. This was a two-piece vault that required little installation time.

How Burial Vaults Are Used Today

The modern vaults you get today are still used for the same purposes, except they come with more pomp and features. You can have it made of either plastic, concrete, or metal. It’s completely enclosed, and once the casket is lowered, it’s sealed and secured.

You might be wondering if it’s similar to a mausoleum. No, they are different. A mausoleum rests above the ground, while a burial vault serves as a vault cemetery container.

Types Of Burial Vaults

All burial vaults give the same structural support, but they are built differently, using various materials that affect their design and cost. The following are some of the different types available:

  • Burial liner: This is a great choice when you have a tight budget. This container has no bottom.
  • Urn vault: This is a vault for cremated ashes.
  • Metal burial vault: This is a vault that comes in bronze, steel, or copper. Steel is the more affordable choice, while copper and bronze are more luxurious.
  • Concrete burial vault: This is the most secure but also expensive vault choice.
  • Air-sealed: This vault uses actual air pressure to seal the container. It protects the coffin from dust, debris, and dirt.

There’s guaranteed to be a vault that fits your taste, budget, and type of burial. You just need to find the right burial vault company to make it.


Over the centuries, burial vaults have evolved in design and use. In the past, people primarily used vaults to protect the graves against ghouls and robbery. But nowadays, vaults are used to secure the casket investment and to support the heavy cemetery equipment and prevent the earth from caving in beneath them. With that being said, it’s best that you approach the right burial vault company when a loved one passes on. Give Olympia Marble a call today.

How To Reset The Ground Supporting A Headstone

How To Reset The Ground Supporting A Headstone

How To Reset The Ground Supporting A Headstone

Over time, headstones and grave markers need to be reset, particularly when they’re only held upright by the ground. This could be due to a variety of factors that include weather conditions, shifting soil, and the mere passage of time.

But can a headstone be corrected, though? Fortunately, even an older headstone can be corrected and reset using simple techniques. This blog provides a step-by-step guide to resetting ground-supported headstones, which should be applicable regardless of the size you’re working with.

Steps for resetting the ground supporting a headstone

Before starting the project, keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, you should avoid doing any harm to the headstone or any other part of the cemetery. If you get concerned at any point in the process, it’s best to stop and look for professional help. This would help prevent additional work and potential costs.

In case you’re wondering what to do with an old headstone that’s already too worn out or damaged to reset, it might be best to just replace it. You can check out some stunning monuments on offer online to have an idea of the price range. While looking for one, consider the material used. The material should be strong enough to withstand natural elements. Granite is a good example. It’s not only capable of weathering the elements without breaking down but is also durable.

Measure the row

Depending on where you’re working, you might need to run the line levels and measure the row where the headstone is. There are organised cemeteries that are very particular when it comes to stone height and alignment. Moreover, you have to take note of legislations in place. You’ll need a masonry string and a line level to ensure you keep in proper stead.

For example, if the required average height for stones is 24 inches above the grave, that’s the height you need to set the string to.

Remove the right amount of dirt

A small amount of dirt has to be removed around the headstone. The amount depends on the stone’s lean. You need to keep in mind that you should minimise the stress placed on the headstone before lifting it.

Additionally, make sure not to touch the stone with the shovel when working around it to avoid damage. It’s wise to use a tarp or plywood as well to lay the dirt on. This will keep the cemetery neat after you’re done.

Lift the headstone

Here are a few things you’ll need to lift the headstone:

  • Rolling aluminium gantry with a one-ton chain hoist
  • Nylon strap
  • Basket hitch

This is a two-person job at the very least. One person is tasked with the chain hoist while the other always stays with the stone. Raise the headstone gently, but don’t allow the chain, hook, or any part of the equipment to hit the stone.

Remember, it’s advisable to don a hard hat whenever using any overhead equipment.

Adjust the hole

Next, the hole needs to be widened and deepened to make space for gravel. For the depth, a good rule to go by is subtracting the stone’s total height from that which stays above the grave. Then add four inches to it for gravel space.

Once you reach the necessary depth, tamp down the soil before adding the four inches of gravel. After that, tamp it down again.

Return the headstone

While you can do this manually, it might be best to go back to the gantry and strap you used earlier, just to be sure. Again, this job requires at least two people.

Add gravel to level the headstone

When you have the headstone back in the hole and at the desired height, ensure that the stone is level and secure as you place gravel around it. Instead of using a shovel, it’s best to use a wooden 2×4 for tamping down. This is to avoid damaging the headstone.

After tamping the gravel down, leave a few inches of room for either sand, soil, or the sod you removed. The gravel not only helps hold the stone, but it acts as drainage as well. It’s advisable to use small, sharp-grade gravel for this. Round or tumbled gravel tends to allow the stone to move in different directions.


Of course, when you’re done, make sure to leave the space as you found it. If any dirt or sod can’t be tamped down cleanly, bag it and dispose accordingly.

Final words

Resetting a headstone can be a simple enough task if you know what you’re doing. You just need to have the right equipment for the job and number of people to help you. But if you’re in doubt about pulling the job off, don’t hesitate to hire a professional. Give Olympia Marble a call today.

How To Get A Gravestone Restored Or Repaired

Gravestone repair

Keeping a loved one’s gravestone in excellent shape is one way to cherish their memory. You can adorn it with candles and flowers to show your undying affection that transcends time. It’s a sincere act of love that you can express through caring for one thing that represents their presence.

Over time, a gravestone can deteriorate due to prolonged exposure to the elements. No matter how durable the material is, damage can slowly start after five years. Therefore, you must prepare for restoration or repair.

  1. Analysing the damage

To determine whether the gravestone needs a major restoration or a minor repair, you’ll need to analyse the damage first. Here are some clear signs of damage:

  • Chipped edges: Chipping is typical in gravestones made of marble and concrete. It happens due to exposure to extreme heat and cold. This type of damage only requires minimal repairs.
  • Faded letters and colours: Fading usually happens within five to ten years. In most cases, fading and discolouration only require thorough cleaning, followed by repainting the letters.
  • Water spots: Water spots are common in granite, marble and quartz. These are the whitish stains that make the surface look cloudy. Cleaning and resealing can solve this issue.
  • Severe weathering and cracks: Severe weathering is common for gravestones within 10 to 20 years, especially those made with sandstone and concrete. This damage requires major restoration since the letters may have also started to fade.
  • Tilted stone: Over time, an upright or slanted gravestone may shift from its base. In this case, it needs resetting to ensure it stays in place.

These are the common signs a gravestone needs to be restored or repaired immediately to prevent further damage. Don’t wait before you can no longer fix the damage. If you don’t have the budget for it, you can get professionals to repair or restore your loved one’s gravestone.

Restoration And Repair Methods

Fixing minor gravestone damage by yourself is possible with proper tools and methods. However, it’s best you leave the following restoration and repair practices to the professionals:

  • Epoxy filling: This method effectively restores small cracks and chips and fills in tiny chips and holes. It can prevent weathering and significant damage when you do it correctly. The most crucial part of restoring a gravestone with epoxy is to find one specifically formulated for a particular stone or material. When shopping for materials, ask for a stone-bonding epoxy to ensure it will create a strong bond. Avoid applying epoxy on the edges when fixing two broken pieces together to maintain a clean look. Then, wipe the excess with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Gravestone resurfacing: This method is ideal for gravestones with water spots and scratches. Over time, even the toughest materials like granite, quartz and marble can be susceptible to these issues. Therefore, resurfacing is necessary. Gravestone resurfacing involves re-sanding and reapplying a new coat of sealant. Before application, ensure the surface is spotless. It’s also best done after filling in the cracks and chips. Resealing the headstone provides a protective layer against moisture, liquid and direct heat.
  • Headstone re-setting: Upright and slanted gravestones may tilt and shift due to the weathering of the base and harsh weather conditions. Due to the difficulty, it’s best to hire a gravestone mason to do this restoration. In most cases, headstone resetting requires building a new foundation. This issue starts when the base weakens or weathers, losing its capacity to keep the gravestone in place. To fix this problem permanently, Olympia Marble recommend creating a more robust base. The mason can also restore the whole monument using the original headstone.
  • Recutting inscriptions: Gravestone inscriptions can fade over time due to the weathering of natural stones. These engravings give meaning to the memorial. Therefore, keeping it readable is a must. Recutting or regilding inscriptions is a common practice in restoring gravestones. Materials like concrete and sandstone are prone to weathering, making engravings fade after several years. This gravestone restoration requires specific tools and skills. One cutting mistake can compromise the stability of the stone and lead to major breakage. It’s best you hire a professional to ensure you get this right. They may also repaint the letters and reseal the whole surface to ensure the gravestone’s durability and longevity.
  • Gravestone replacement: Olympia Marble recommend replacement for headstones with severe damage. However, you can also replace the whole monument with a new one to beautify the memorial. Gravestone replacement is also ideal if you want to build one using a more long-lasting material. For instance, you can replace a concrete headstone with marble, granite or quartz. Despite replacing the monument, you can still use the same inscriptions to cherish and immortalise the memory of a loved one.

Consider Professional Gravestone Maintenance

While some might think you can save more by tackling the restoration and repair yourself, hiring professionals is still best. Ensuring the longevity of a headstone requires quality work, which is possible through expert gravestone maintenance service. It’s also a way to show how much you love and respect the memory of a loved one who passed on.

Importance Of Gravestone Restoration And Repair

Gravestone restoration and repair is a way to pay tribute to a loved one. It shows how much you endear and revere them despite the years passed. The marker serves as a reminder that they were once here to create fond memories for you to cherish forever.


Installing a fine gravestone or cemetery monument is the best way to honor the burial place of the dearly departed. For that reason, you should make sure you’re hiring someone that can meet or exceed your expectations. Hiring the most qualified Sydney cemetery stonemason for the job takes some researching, and asking the questions listed above should help you find someone that is up for the job. Give Olympia Marble a call today and speak with our talented grave stonemasons.

5 Questions To Ask A Cemetery Stone Mason Before Hiring

Man in grave using hammer and chisel

Aside from marking a grave, a gravestone or cemetery monument also serves as a reflection of the people’s love and admiration for the departed. That said, you’d want nothing less than a high-quality gravestone to honor a loved one.

Having a well-designed gravestone is only possible with the help of a cemetery stone mason, but with so many of them available for hire, you might be overwhelmed by the number of choices you have. To help narrow down your list of options, we suggest asking a cemetery stone mason these five questions before deciding to hire them: (1)

  1. What materials do you work with?

You’d want a gravestone that lasts for generations. After all, you’re doing it to adorn a place that the departed’s family and friends will visit from time to time. That means you need a stone mason that knows what options are suitable for making gravestones.

You’d want a stone mason that offers one or more of these popular gravestone materials:

  • Marble
  • Sandstone
  • Granite
  • Concrete
  • Bronze

You can also ask these questions about each material before proceeding to hire them

  • Is it durable enough?
  • Can it endure local climate conditions?
  • What are the maintenance requirements of this material?
  • Is it available in different finishes? (2)

Don’t forget that some cemeteries may have restrictions on the sizes, colors, and other features that can be added to headstones. For instance, others may limit the stone to small flat tablets and allow only specific ground markers for lettering. Your stone mason should be familiar with these restrictions so you don’t end up asking for a gravestone that can’t be   Therefore, consider getting recommendations from the cemetery officials to not go against the rules. Also, see to it that you raise such concerns to your stone mason. (3)

  1. Can you provide samples of your previous work?

Your cemetery stone mason must have the skills to craft a fine gravestone. You’re looking for an experienced craftsman, with a good work history and well-maintained records. A great way to determine this is to ask them for samples of their previous works. Arrange for cemetery tours to renowned cemeteries like Centennial Park, Launceston Cemetery, or Brisbane cemeteries to look around for gravestones that they have worked on.

Another way to gauge a stone mason’s ability is to get feedback from their previous clients. Take note of what they liked about working with that particular stone mason and, if any, things that they thought could use some improvement.

  1. What are your pricing criteria?

Installing a cemetery monument comes with costs, and you’d want one that fits your budget. Remember that larger gravestones and more elaborate designs will cost you extra. To be sure, ask your mason to provide you with a quotation containing the price details of all the materials and expenses. Below is an outline of the essential costs that you should know about:

  • The general price of the stone
  • Installation costs at the cemetery
  • The charges for a specific number of engravings
  • Cemetery permit fees

You should also find out how the following factors may affect the price of your gravestone:

  • The color and finish of the stone
  • Additional words or letter engravings
  • Requests for more inscriptions
  • The use of accessories, for instance, adding a slot for a vase or picture frame
  • Intricate features, e.g., a tear-shaped stone monuments
  • Installing a double monument, like gravestones to commemorate couples (4)
  1. Who will provide the materials?

Most stonemasons prefer to secure the required materials themselves, and they’d most likely quote extra for it. However, you can ask your mason if you can purchase the materials yourself from a recommended vendor. This is usually where you can help cut down the costs of the entire commission.

  1. How long will you take to complete the job?

It’s important to get the expected turnaround time from your memorial mason. If possible, ask for a proper breakdown of the daily tasks so you can work them in your schedule. This is especially important for more elaborate gravestones that take longer to make.

You should also ask your mason how well they can adjust to your schedule if there’s a need for urgency. Say you want to hold a memorial service soon, and you’d need the place ready by then. Make a point of getting the start date and finish date to avoid any inconveniences.


Installing a fine gravestone or cemetery monument is the best way to honor the burial place of the dearly departed. For that reason, you should make sure you’re hiring someone that can meet or exceed your expectations. Hiring the most qualified Sydney cemetery stonemason for the job takes some researching, and asking the questions listed above should help you find someone that is up for the job.



  1. “The gravest graveyards,”
  2. “Gravestones and Geology of graveyards,”
  3. “How to select a headstone,”
  4. “How to reduce funeral expenses,”

What Are The Types Of Grave Monuments Available?


What Are The Types Of Grave Monuments Available?

Most people don’t really think about graves, cemetery monuments, or headstones until such a time when they need to plan a funeral for their deceased loved one. But having knowledge about grave monuments and their types ahead of time may help ease the funeral planning process once that moment comes.

After the deceased loved one has been buried in the cemetery, the final important task the family has to do is choose the monument or cemetery marker to be placed on top of the person’s grave.

How much are monuments for graves?

If you stroll through a cemetery, you may notice how there are many different styles and designs of grave monuments. Grave monuments often consist of seals, lettering, or footstones. And they’re colour-coordinated to the person’s grave or tomb. Some of them may come in sculptures or statues. Grave monuments can also be customized, which means you can create any design that may closely relate to your loved one.

Remember, their monument is designed not only to mark their tomb but also to remind people of good memories or the life story of the deceased person whenever they visit their grave. Although choosing your loved one’s grave monument may sound like a simple task, it can also be complex, considering many types of grave monuments are available. Plus, you’ll also need to consider the cost. If you’re wondering how much grave monuments may cost, it actually depends. (1)

Some factors that influence its cost may include:

  • Type of material used for the monument
  • Size and shape
  • Weight
  • Amount of personalization and design details

Generally, traditional grave monuments offered by the funeral services are cheaper, but they may look less personal.

What are the various types of grave monuments?

When you order a grave monument for the deceased person, the type is often the first choice. This article will present to you the different types of grave monuments available. This can help you choose the best option for your loved one’s burial spot.

  1. Upright grave monuments

The most common type of cemetery monument is the upright monument. This is also the most common style of traditional headstones. You may also notice Jewish cemetery monuments using the upright type. Many people opt for this type as it can vividly and clearly display the inscription of the person’s grave, making it easier for others to see it from a distance and quickly locate the tomb. (2)

Furthermore, since an upright monument is considerably larger in size compared to a headstone, you can freely add other beautiful symbols or elements that may add a detailed presentation to the person’s monument. However, given that upright monuments are much larger, they might exceed the cemetery’s space restrictions.  (2)

Thus, it’s essential to check in with the regulations and restrictions of your local cemetery and see if they can allocate space for the person’s upright monument. To ensure the monument remains durable and exudes a long-lasting tribute for your deceased loved one, you must follow proper cleaning and maintenance to prevent it from fading or weathering. (2)

  1. Slanted-style grave monuments

If you’re on a budget or want to save on space due to the cemetery’s restrictions, the slanted-style grave monument may be the best alternative. Like the upright monument, this type still provides ample space for your desired symbols, images, words, and other inscriptions. The only difference it has with the upright type is its design. Instead of an upright length, the monument is in a slanted position, and there’s normally bevelling on top.

  1. Garden statue monuments

Probably the most unique grave monument of all is the garden statue monument. Unlike the upright and slanted-style monument, this type features a statue or sculpture on top of the grave as a unique way of honouring the deceased person. Cemeteries like the Centenary Memorial Gardens map in Australia may accept statue monuments for their graves. You may also place the statue in your backyard or any place that has meaning for the person who passed away.

With the help of a skilled monument craftsperson, you can create a statue/sculpture of any symbol, style, shape, colour, or size. You may also choose to incorporate other presentations, such as personalized texts or other things that bring significance to the person’s grave. Some people from different religions use religious sculptures or status for their loved one’s graves. Ultimately, there are endless ways to customize the garden statue and make it even more profound in memory of your loved one.

  1. Memorial benches

Memorial benches are considered unconventional grave monuments. Although they’re never placed on top of the grave, you can still place them around the grave (together with the other types of monuments), in a church courtyard, in your garden, or in other places where the deceased person’s family and friends can visit.

Generally, some may put these commemorative benches in their backyard to help keep the person’s memory alive. You can personalize this memorial bench by putting the images of the deceased person, their name, quotes, or other inscriptions you wish to write. (3)

Choosing the right type of grave monument

Now that you understand the common types of grave monuments, it’s up to you to choose which one is best for paying tribute and honour to your deceased loved one. Preferably, it’s best to consult a professional grave monument company so you can seek their advice, get a quotation, and have the best monument for your loved one’s burial.



  1. “How Much Do Memorials, Headstones and Monuments Cost? And Why?”
  2. “Tombstone To Monument: Part One, Upright Marker”
  3. “Memorial Benches: A Quiet Reminder Of People Gone, But Not Forgotten”

What’s Australia’s Oldest Cemetery?


Going around cemeteries in Australia may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who don’t work in the industry. If you’ve tried it once, you’ll find that cemeteries are teeming with historical information about the local community situated in a specific era—especially if you’re in the right place, reading the proper monumental gravestones.

For instance, amid the modern cemetery headstone photos and engravings in most Australian graveyards lie some epitaphs that illustrate the difficult situations in those times. Others, like the 2 cemetery road Ipswich in Queensland and the Old Sydney Burial Ground, had been obscured by community developments.

Changes and closures aside, have you ever asked yourself, ‘what is the oldest cemetery in Australia?’ Read this blog to find out the answers.

St. John’s Cemetery (1790 – present)

The city of Parramatta lies on the outskirts of Sydney—home to the country’s oldest surviving European burial grounds. St. John’s Cemetery was established in 1790 and houses both unmarked and marked headstones and monumental gravestones. One of the first marked and most notable memorial headstones is owned by Henry Dodd, who served as the Superintendent of Convicts at the Government Farm. Dodd is credited for growing wheat in the country. His funeral was also the first public funeral in the territory. (1)

While Australia’s oldest cemetery is more popularly known as the graveyard for several British immigrants, European settlers of various nationalities are buried in St. John’s. Among them are Danish, German, Scottish, and Irish. Some Chinese and Indians also chose the historic cemetery as their final destination. These residents come from different backgrounds: doctors, shop attendants, and convicts. (1)

Perhaps one of the significant structures in St John’s is the brick wall that was supposed to keep animals out of the property. Built in the 1820s, the division deteriorated alongside the entire grave site. In the 1970s, a restoration committee was organized to rehabilitate the cemetery. Several other attempts have been initiated over the years to fully develop the area, study how to clean cemetery monuments, and conduct an inventory of cemetery occupants. (1)

Old Sydney Burial Ground (1793-1820)

A few years following the opening of St. John’s Cemetery, another burial ground was opened, this time in Sydney. The Old Sydney Burial Ground is known by many names, such as the George Street Burial Ground, the Town Hall Cemetery, and the Cathedral Close Cemetery. The site, which was located outside the town capital, was chosen by the founding Governor of New South Wales and former Navy officer Arthur Phillip in 1792. (2)

Soon, the then secluded burial place became teeming with occupants. In 1820, a new graveyard was established on Brickway Hill or Sandhills Cemetery—which has since turned into the Central railway station. With this, the Old Sydney Burial Ground was permanently closed, not only because of overcrowding but because officials deemed the area a public health threat.

Over 2,000 people were buried, but there isn’t a registry of occupants or cemetery headstone photos to help identify those buried there. Sydney authorities sought several historical sources to create an inventory that can be downloaded from the city’s website. (2)

Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery (1821- 1824)

Port Macquarie Historic Cemetery is one of Australia’s earliest cemeteries, also known as Old Port Macquarie Cemetery, Allman Hill Burying Ground, and Port Macquarie Burying Ground. This short-lived burial ground has now been turned into the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park and is owned by the local council. (3)

Monumental gravestones and other inscriptions have made creating an inventory challenging but not impossible. Home to several individuals—including one who claimed to be Napoleon Bonaparte’s illegitimate son, a military officer who served in the Battle of Waterloo, and a relative of the only known Jewish bushranger in Australian history—the cemetery was declared part of the NSW State Heritage Register in 2005. (3)

Ipswich Cemetery, Queensland (1842- present)

In Queensland, 2 Cemetery Road Ipswich may be more known as a real estate haven. But a few kilometres away, you’ll find the Ipswich General Cemetery. There rest several occupants, following the first on the record: that of John Carr, who died in 1868. The four-year-old’s burial was recorded as the first even if the cemetery has been operating since 1842. (4)

While not entertaining fresh burials, this historic cemetery features monumental gravestones

and symbols such as crosses, angels, and cemetery headstone photos. As these structures are

exposed to elements such as rain, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures, they may become

brittle or worn out. To retain a headstone or memorial gravestone’s beauty, one must learn how

to clean cemetery monuments. (4)



Cemeteries are more than just where bodies are kept. It’s also where memories come alive, taking visitors back to a specific era. As rich historical sites, the Australian government must continue its efforts to restore and preserve its existing burial grounds and create an inventory of all buried individuals in its graveyards.



  1. “St. John’s Cemetery”
  2. “Old Sydney Burial Ground”
  3. “Port Macquarie’s Historical Cemetery: Australia’s oldest cemetery”
  4. “Ipswich General Cemetery”

Cemetery plaque wording idea for family members


There are many ways to honour the departed and keep their memories alive. One of them is by having a cemetery plaque with unique inscriptions. They’re a popular inclusion on gravestones that not only helps identify the deceased, but also give information about their departure date, and comfort those who come to mourn at the grave. (1)

Undoubtedly, there are many thoughts and feelings you could inscribe on the cemetery plaque. But you ought to be precise because of the limited space. If you’re wondering where to start, here are five cemetery plaque wording ideas for family members:

  1. Introductory inscriptions

You’d want to begin your cemetery plaque inscription with a short phrase clearly indicating that it’s about the death of a loved one. Here are some ideas:

  • In loving memory of
  • In remembrance of
  • Cherished memory of
  • Remembering my beautiful daughter
  • In honour of
  1. Names of the departed

After the introductory inscription, write the full names of the departed. It’s common practice to include the first, middle, and last names, to ensure clarity on who’s being referred to. For married women who died while using their husband’s surname, consider inserting their maiden name in brackets.

All in all, there are no hard rules regarding what names you ought to inscribe on the cemetery plaque. You can even use their nickname as long as everyone visiting the grave can correctly identify the dead person without room for confusion. Walking along 49 Cemetery Road could give you more inspiration on naming ideas.

Another thing to note is that different burial places may have regulations on how many names you can include on the cemetery plaque, as wel asl the maximum size of the plaque. Make sure to consult the cemetery officials before instructing the engraver. Also, most gravestone engraving companies charge per letter. This means the longer the name, the more you’ll have to pay. (2)

  1. Dates of birth and death

Years down the line, your children or grandchildren may want to know when their relatives were born or when they passed on. Thus, you should add these dates on the gravestone. You could specify the years only, for instance 1930-2021. This works well if you’re unsure about the exact date of birth. Alternatively, if you’re the kind of person with a keen eye for details, you may have them written in full, for example 01.10.1930 -12.11.2021.

  1. Connection to the deceased

You may want to state the closest relationships of the departed family members using any of the following words:

  • Beloved husband/wife of
  • Doting mother to
  • Loving brother to
  • Darling sister to
  • Devoted father of
  • Adoring grandmother of
  • Caring grandfather of

If you’re burying a couple in the same grave, you can consider installing a Greek cemetery monument and stating their relationship with words like ‘Beloved husband to’ and ‘Beloved wife to’ side by side.

  1. Scripture verses and quotes

Scripture verses are known to uplift the soul in times of grief. Thus, having them inscribed on the gravestone could encourage anyone visiting the grave. It’s advisable to draw scripture verses from the sacred texts of the religion professed by the departed when they were alive. Here’s a brief breakdown of what you could use:

  • Christians: Bible
  • Muslims: The Quran
  • Hindus: The Vedas And The Upanishads
  • Buddhists: Tipitaka
  • Judaists: The Tanakh and The Talmud (3)

Aside from scripture verses, you could also use uplifting quotes or famous one-liners from writers. Many scholars have philosophically expounded on the death issue over the years, and their school of thought could be a great encouragement to you. On the same note, there are commoners who have experienced death and uttered ageless words. Try perusing websites that publish such quotes and see if you can get any fitting one.

You could also consider getting lines from hymns. There are thousands of hymns on death written by inspired singers. Plucking a line or two from these songs would make your cemetery plaque unique.

A slightly fun suggestion would be to tap into the deceased’s favorite works and pick a line from one of those that resonates well with them. You definitely know a book or two they loved reading. Perhaps they’d also gone to the extent of displaying exhilarating quotes from these books on the walls. Look into such details and you’re sure to find one that’ll perfectly fit the cemetery plaque.


Wording your beloved’s cemetery plaque uniquely is an excellent way to honour them and commemorate their lives. So, contact monument professionals, such as those found along 1 Monument Street, Peppermint Grove, Western Australia, and explain to them your needs.  They’ll help bring your cemetery plaque wording ideas to reality. And anyone visiting the grave will feel encouraged to move on with life despite the devastating loss. The good thing is that monument prices are usually not out of reach. You can get good bargains if you shop around keenly.



  1. “Cemetery plaques for Grave sites”
  2. “Cemetery rules and regulations”
  3. “Sacred Texts Of Major World Religions”

Cemetery Plaques Wording 101: What Do You Write On A Plaque


Losing your loved one is, indeed, painful and emotional. Usually, numerous memories come up during the mourning process – to the extent you’d want to treasure and keep them forever. According to research, it’s common to think about them at least once every week and talk about them once per month. (1)

Cemetery plaques can be a great way to express your memories and feelings towards the deceased. They’re a perfect way of paying tribute to your loved one. In addition to celebrating the departed’s life, dignity and accomplishments, cemetery plaque wordings may help augment your healing process.

However, plaques have limited spaces, especially in a crematorium; hence, knowing suitable wordings is essential. This article lists the key things to include on a plaque.


  1. An opening phrase

Having an opening phrase tells the readers straight ahead that this is about death. Consider making it short and precise. Below are some common words used for this on monumentals:

  • Forever in our hearts
  • In loving memory
  • Until we meet again
  • Remembered with love
  • Rest in peace
  • In cherished memories of
  • In honour of
  • A life well-lived
  • With love, we celebrate
  • In God’s care
  • Dedicated memories of

These phrases indicate that the deceased led a great life, is loved and will be remembered forever.


  1. Full names of the deceased

Following the opening phrase is the name of the deceased. You’d also want to add their title in recognition of the role they played on earth. For example, president, doctor, and others. As a best practice, write the name at the top of the plaque.

Also, it’s good to write all the full names instead of one or merely providing initials. For example, David Doe Maker is far better than David DM or Doe. But even so, you can omit the middle name if it’s too long and you want to save on space. If you wish, you can also add the nicknames of the departed.


  1. Date of birth and death

It’s good practice to state when the deceased was born into the world and when they breathed their last. You can follow the following conventional format:

  • Sunrise: 26/06/1928
  • Sunset: 19/01/2022

The dates are also important for cemetery and crematorium records. If you’re sceptical of giving out such fine details, you can consider writing the years only. For example, 1928-2022. This also applies if the date of birth is unclear or the deceased kept it private.


  1. Relations of the departed

The departed must have left behind dear ones. Consider including a brief list of the closest family members on the plaque. You can have words like:

  • Beloved father of
  • Loving husband of
  • Darling sister of
  • Devoted wife of
  • Dear grandmother of
  • Caring aunt of
  • Darling brother of
  • Loving uncle to
  • Beloved grandfather to
  • Adoring mother of


  1. Inspirational scripture verses

Scriptural verses are uplifting, and they encourage everyone who reads the plaque. They’ve been used for generations to honour the dead, and so you should try them too. Get your sacred text and search for consoling verses, especially those revolving around death, and have them artistically inscribed on the monumental grave plaque. Some of the common ones include:

  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith: 2 Timothy 4:7
  • Verily, from Allah we came and to him we return. (Qur’an)
  • And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter. (Surah Ankabut)
  • O soul that are at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him), So enter among My servants, And enter into My garden. (Surah Al-Fajr)
  • Those who die without being forgotten get longevity. (Tao Te Ching)


  1. Wise Quotes

Aside from scriptures, you can also write powerful words uttered by influential people or scholars on the plaque. This energises you, comforts you during your grieving process, creates optimism and hope in you and brings happiness back to your life. Here are some quotes you could try:

  • There’s no sorrow on earth that heaven cannot heal
  • Sweet are the memories that never fade
  • Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
  • To live in the hearts of those we love isn’t to die
  • The song is ended, but the melody lingers on
  • Death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. (3)



Having the best cemetery plaque wordings is an excellent way of honouring your loved ones. Therefore, you must know what to include on the plaque. But these are just guidelines. There are no hard rules when it comes to celebrating your departed loved one. Feel free to express your true feelings. That’ll help you overcome grief.



  1. “The time course of grief reactions to spousal loss: Evidence from a national probability sample.”
  2. “Bible Quotes To Help You In Times Of Grief.”
  3. “Beautiful Inspirational Quotes on Death, life, reality and soul.”

What Are Monumental Graves?

Monumental graves are oversized gravestones featuring tall pillars with striking designs. They also come in different sizes and shapes. Grave monuments cover the whole grave, unlike simple tombstones that are positioned on the top section of the grave.

Depending on the type of cemetery you’re visiting, you’ll likely see flat tombstones, obelisk-like stones and towering monuments, similar, if not more ornate than Mount Gambier monumental graves. Others take on an oversized shape and come in several forms that commemorate the deceased’s life.

With the vast types of cemetery monuments to choose from, picking the most ideal monumental grave may be frazzling. A visit to the cemetery office and monumental centre will provide you with the best ideas for choosing the best monumental grave for your loved ones.

Moreover, here’s some basic information to help you get started.

Types of monumental graves

Unlike headstones, monumental graves are enormous structures covering the entire grave and the surrounding ground. While people may think that they’re merely artistic remembrances of the deceased, monumental graves can also be used to signify nationality, religion, and other beliefs.

Regardless of the message that the family wants to convey, grave monuments always feature intricate stonework. While there are several types of graves to choose from, monumental graves are often loosely classified into these categories:

  • Single row monumental graves: These styles offer more exclusivity in designing individual grave monuments.
  • Dual row monumental graves: Most cemetery monuments are designed to accommodate two graves.
  • Foundation-less graves: Some old graves may not have a foundation, thus, stone monument makers from a monumental center must build it first before creating the monument.  
  • Premium-length graves: This type facilitates the erection of taller monuments and may either be in two columns or in some cases, one row. (1)
  • Upright monuments: These are the most common options, being that they’ve been used for centuries. That being said, tombstones with historical importance, such as the Mount Gambier monumental graves, often have tall structures that make them highly visible even at a distance. Upright monuments can also look great when used in cemeteries with rolling terrain or on a special gravestone along the coast of 9 centenary heights road Coolum Beach, for instance. (2)

As an aside, these monumental graves are found in the old Mount Gambier, which has        since been developed into an ornamental park. The park’s central memorial landmark   towers at 12 feet with 10 feet by 10 feet stone base. (3)

When planning to build one for a family member, talk to a monument centre or the             cemetery administration to ensure you don’t go beyond the structure size and height                 restrictions.

  • Slant style monuments: If the cemetery has set limited spaces for gravestones, but you still want to build a monument for your loved one, this may be the best option for you. Instead of building towering structures, a slant style monument features a bevelled design, making it stylish even with its traditional width size of one foot.

Despite the monument’s limited size, monument centre workers can still design it to          contain the most important information and symbols that commemorate the life of the             deceased. Slant style monuments are generally cheaper than tower-like monuments.

  • Footmarker-style monuments: These monumental grave types are even cheaper than the previous choices, making them attractive prospects for those who don’t have enough budget to pay for the more costly options. They look similar to lawn graves, but instead of being laid flat on the ground, foot marker monuments are placed upright and are slightly elevated.

However, they may be more susceptible to damage caused by lawnmowers and other          cleaning tools, as they’re closer to the ground. Furthermore, these monuments can be                 customized by professionals from the monumental centre, although with some                       restrictions. Consider looking at an online cemetery nearby if you’re looking for design          inspiration.  (2)

Factors that impact the costs of grave monuments

As mentioned, upright monuments, also known as full monuments, are the priciest options, setting you back from AUD$ 3,000 minimum. The costs can vary wildly based on the following elements:

  • The complexity of installation works
  • The number of engraved letters required
  • Size of the monument
  • Type and colour of the marble or other type of stone used
  • Design and shape of the structure
  • Material type used to cover the grave and monument base
  • Additional accessories

Most cemeteries will also charge additional fees on top of the permit fees.


Choosing the best monumental grave for your loved one can be challenging. Besides knowing the deceased really well or going through their will, you also have to consider other regulations such as the ones set by the cemetery, the deceased person’s beliefs, religion, and culture, and your budget. However, all that research will pay off when you find the perfect gravestone monument to honor the deceased.


  1. Monumental Graves
  2. 5 Different Styles of Cemetery Monuments
  3. Pioneers of Mt. Gambier