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What Are Monumental Graves?

By June 24, 2022July 24th, 2022No Comments

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