May 22, 2019

Granite headstones are one of the most popular choices for memorials that we produce for our clients here at Burslem.

What is granite?



The word granite has its origins in the Latin ‘granum’ which means grain.  This is a reference to the granular crystalline structure that is clearly visible in any piece of granite.

Granite is an igneous rock, formed from cooling magma. This process happens over thousands of years beneath the Earth’s surface.

Most granite consists mainly of quartz and feldspar along with various quantities of mica and other amphibole minerals. Typically, the quartz and feldspar will form a tight, interlocking structure with the other minerals. This creates a uniform and tight composition which results in the granite being a very hard, dense and tough natural material.  The tight structure also means that it is very difficult for water to penetrate it which makes it resistant to fungal and algal growth and general discolouration is easily wiped away.

These characteristics have caused granite to be a reliable construction material for thousands of years. Today it’s the primary choice of material for monuments and headstones around the world.

Why choose granite for your memorial/ headstone?


Hand-cut fairy carving on black granite, Burslem, headstone

Hand-cut fairy carving on black granite headstone

Granite offers an unlimited array of choices in colours and shapes and a variety of finishes can be applied to this versatile stone.

Granite has the ability to be polished to a glossy sheen which pulls out the beautiful colours within its grains, it can be honed to a matt finish or be “tooled” by a stone mason to achieve a more rustic appearance. A polished surface also serves as a layer of protection to the piece of granite, creating a barrier between the pores of the stone and the outside weather.

Granite is available in a variety of colours from very light and dark greys to midnight black, blue, green, red, pink, orange and many others in-between. The colour variations are determined by the mineral make-up of the granite in a particular geographic area.

Granite can also be sculpted, creating beautifully defined figures and symbols or carvings on a monument.


Granite’s tight crystalline structure means it is a very hard stone that will last for hundreds of years.

This means it won’t shatter if a tree branch falls on it or be tipped over by a blustery storm.  It has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures as well as acid rain pollution and general weathering over long periods of time.

Granite is fairly resistant to chipping and scratching, especially when compared to other natural stones such as marble or sandstone.

It is very heavy and has no salvage value hence granite memorials are rarely stolen for profit.

Red Granite headstone kerbs burslem

Headstone & Kerbs in Balmoral Red Granite

Granite requires minimum maintenance and resists most vandalism which helps with managing the longer term costs of maintaining a memorial.

It is for these reasons granite is such a popular choice for cemetery headstones and memorials.

Contact the team at Burslem for further details and advice on creating a memorial using granite.



Hand-carving on black granite by Burslem
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