We offer a full service of hand-cut and machine-cut lettering. All lettering is cut in our workshop, so you can see the inscription drawn out and discuss any changes you require with a craftsman before the headstone or memorial engraving is begun.

For advice on finding the right wording for your loved one, please see our separate - Guide to Choosing a Memorial Inscription.

Hand-cut or machine-cut?

Hand-cut lettering is drawn by hand and cut with a chisel. It allows total freedom of design. Machine-cut lettering is shot-blasted through a stencil produced from a selection of computer fonts which work well for stone.
Generally, but not always, we machine-cut granites and hand-cut the softer stones which carve better.

Hand-cut only York stone Hand-cut only Celtic Limestone Hand-cut and painted light blue
Hand-cut and gilded Flush-lead Machine-cut, various finishes

Lettering finishes

Both hand-cut and machine-cut letters are often finished with paint or gold leaf to make them easier to read. Regulations aside, the decision is based on taste. As with all outdoor finishes, you should bear in mind that the paint or gild will need to be renewed from time to time. In marble or Nabresina, the letters may be filled with lead, which provides a more water resistant, longer-lasting finish.

Raised lead

Raised lead lettering is a traditional style seen on hard stones, most often granites. A block of lead is secured into holes drilled in the stone surface, and the letter is then cut out of that block.

Done properly, it is a very long lasting letter. However, the lead is usually painted to improve visibility, and this will require occasional repainting.

These days, we most often use raised lead letters to match an existing inscription, when adding wording to an older stone.

Lettering Prices

Prices are per letter, ex-VAT

  Machine-cut Hand-cut (non granite) Hand-cut (granite)
Incised only £2.40 £3.10 £4.20
Incised & painted £2.70 £3.30 £4.40
Incised & painted gold £3.00 £3.50 £4.60
Incised & gilded £3.50 £3.80 £4.80
Incised & flush lead-filled £4.50 £4.60 n/a
Raised Lead n/a £4.70 £5.00
Repainting lettering £1.90 £1.90 £1.90
Repainting gold lettering £2.30 £2.30 £2.30
Re-gilding lettering £2.80 £3.10 £3.10
Machine debossed lettering £2.90 n/a n/a