February 12, 2020

We produce memorials using a wide range of natural stone here at Burslem and slate is a popular choice with our customers.

RNLI plaque Burslem Memorials; slate; slate plaque

Hand-carved slate plaque for the RNLI by Burslem

The durability and distinctive beauty of natural slate make it a wonderful choice for a memorial, headstone or commemorative tablet.

Slate, derived from sedimentary rock and composed of clay or volcanic ash, is the finest grained foliated (layered) metamorphic rock. Strong compression within the rock results in clay flakes re-growing in planes. Slate has been widely used throughout history as a roofing and tiling material due to its ‘fissility’ meaning that when it’s expertly cut or ‘cleaved’ it forms flat sheets of stone.


The stone has an extremely low water absorption of less than 0.4% and it is this waterproof quality that makes it extremely durable.

Slate can last several hundred years, often with little or no maintenance and its low water absorption makes it very resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing. It is also fire resistant.

This versatile stone can be cleaned but weathers gently with time and will never be permanently discoloured by the weathering process. Slate also doesn’t encourage the growth of mosses or lichens.

Cumbrian Green Slate English Stone Burslem; slate memorials

Cumbrian Green Slate from Burlington Quarries in the Lake District, ideal for churchyard and cemetery memorials.

Timeless Beauty

As well as being extremely durable, natural slate is very attractive and distinctive in appearance. Often grey in colo

ur, the stone occurs in a variety of other shades, such as purple green and cyan.

For memorials, dark grey and green are the most commonly used colours of slate, offering a distinctive and striking contrast between the deep colour of the stone and lighter lettering or carving. A popular choice is Green Slate from Cumbria which is an elegant grey-green colour that blends in beautifully with its surroundings.

Slate memorials and headstones look particularly effective when lettering is highlighted with a complementary paint. The unique texture of the stone also allows the stonemason a high degree of precision and fine detail when working with it.

Contact our team to discuss creating a memorial using slate or one of the many other types of stone that we offer.

View our gallery for examples of slate memorials and headstones produced by Burslem.

Read about Granite Memorials here.

Read about Portland Stone Memorials here.


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