Slate Shape and Finish

We usually 'fine rub' the slate surface for nameplates, numbers plaques and memorials, which means the slate is smooth and therefore gives a good clean outline to the letters.

The slate shape, with either smooth or chipped edges, can be a rectangle, a square or have a curved top, be a circle or an oval. It can also be a ‘ natural’ random shape, but this is always with a chipped edge.


Slate shapes for full sized headstones include semi-circles, Gothic arches or rounded shoulders, flat, gently curved or angled tops.

Click on each picture to enlarge

Hand-cut lettering or sandblasted?

We offer two types of lettered or numbered plaques: Richard hand cuts lettering using a hammer and chisel, which gives a sharp 'v' cut inside the letters, whereas sand-blasted lettering gives a slightly more rounded 'v' inside the cut although this difference is really only noticeable with very large lettering. Flourishes taken off letters normally only work well with hand-cut lettering.

We only hand-cut full-sized slate headstones

Click on each picture to enlarge

Fonts/lettering style

We have a variety of fonts that we use. We will be pleased to give advice on font choice.

Hand drawn and hand engraved Artwork

The slate name and number plates, plaques and memorials can be enhanced with drawings of your choice - Celtic designs, birds, animals and trees and flowers are popular, although we have done insects and fish too! Celtic and Christian crosses are often used for memorials and headstones. Paw prints are a favourite for cat and dog memorials. We are proud of our artwork- nearly everything is hand drawn and hand engraved. We can use your pictures and logos, or find something suitable from our references.

Close up of sand blasted lettering and hand drawn and engraved and textured artwork. All painted silver. Close up of hand drawn and hand engraved and textured artwork. Painted grey.  

Lettering finishes – paint and gold leaf


We recommend finishing engraved letters with either paint or gold leaf. Usually we use off-white, which shows up well, grey, the most natural looking finish, or silver, which picks up any available light. Inside the deeply cut letters, our paint should last up to 16 year in normal exposure.

Gold leaf applied well is beautiful. We use extra thick leaf and it should last up to 25 years on average. Of course, the lettering and slate plaque itself will last for generations!

Memorials and headstones

Usually we recommend that memorial headstones and memorial plaques are neither painted nor gilded so they will never need re-painting or re-gilding and they are usually read whilst standing close by. However, they will not show up so well as lettering that has been painted or gilded, particularly in the rain, so we can paint or gild the lettering if the family wishes.

If you do wish the lettering to be highlighted, we would recommend either grey paint (which looks very natural) or gilding for memorials.


We need to know where you wish your slate to be fixed, so we can advise on the most suitable fixings.

The simplest method of fixing slate nameplates and plaques is for us to make holes for brass screws, which will not make rust marks and can be removed if required. These are suitable for both wall and post fixing. We can also make ‘hidden fixings’for wall plaques. These are not quite so simple to fix, but we put instructions of the back of the slate!

A memorial or garden plaque can either stand upright, or be supported with slate ‘triangles’, or lay flat.

Our full sized headstones are put with 1/3 height into the ground in the traditional way. This means that if there is any subsidence or movement or a memorial requires an additional inscription,, then the slate is easily removed or re-positioned with no fear of concrete breaking or damaging the stone.


Prices depend on size and complexity of design required.

Hand cut lettering takes much longer to do and so is more expensive, as is gold leaf compared to paint finishes. Shaping the slate takes time, so the simplest option of a straight rectangle will be cheaper than an oval or a chipped ‘natural’ outline, for example.

We like to work closely with our clients- each piece is a personal item - so we don’t have standardised order forms.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can then give you a price and delivery date for your order.

Ben Thomas

mobile: 07971 339490


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