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Monument Headstones and Grave Markers


Clear Stream Monuments has a beautiful selection of finely sculpted monuments to chose from, and all of our monuments come with a Lifetime Warranty and Free Shipping. Whether you are looking for a monument headstone or grave marker monument we can help you to create an unforgettable monument for your loved one.



What are Monuments

A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of past events. Popular forms of monuments include landmark objects such as grave stones or tomb stones or art objects such as fountains, sculptures or statues.

History of Monuments

The earliest English church monuments were simple stone coffin-shaped grave coverings incised with a cross or similar design. The first attempts at commemorative portraiture emerged in the 13th century, executed in low relief, horizontal but as in life. Gradually these became full high-relief effigies, usually recumbent, as in death, and, by the 14th century, with hands together in prayer. In general, such monumental effigies were carved in stone, marble or wood, or cast in bronze or brass. Often the stone effigies were painted to resemble life, but on the vast majority of medieval monuments, the paint has long since disappeared. The crossed-legged attitude of numerous armored knights was long supposed to imply that the deceased had served in the Crusades, but this supposition is now thought to be unfounded. Feet were often supported by sculpted animals, usually either a heraldic lion indicating valor and nobility, or a dog indicative of loyalty. By the early 13th century, the effigies were raised on tomb-style chests(known as tomb chests or altar tombs and decorated with foliage, heraldry or architectural detailing. Soon such chests stood alone with varying degrees of decorations. By the end of the century, these often had architectural canopies. Figured "weepers" were popular decorative features. In the 15th century, the figures were often portrayed as angels or saints, and the chest might include a cadaver. The most refined monuments were made of alabaster. Around the 13th century, smaller two-dimensional effigies incised in plates of brass and affixed to monumental slabs of stone became popular too. These memorial brasses were somewhat cheaper and particularly popular with the emerging middle class.

In the 16th century, church monuments became increasingly influenced by Renaissance forms and detailing (pilasters, wreaths, strapwork, skulls, coffered arches, obelisks, allegorical figures, etc.), particularly in France, the Netherlands and, eventually, England. There were major innovations in effigie posture, the deceased often being shown reclining or kneeling in prayer and surrounded by the whole family, as in life. Cadavers were replaced by skeletons. The 'hanging' mural or wall monument also became popular, sometimes with half-length figures; and also the floor-bound heraldic ledger stone. The 17th century saw an increase in classicism and the use of marble. Effigies might be sitting or standing, grief-stricken, shrouded or, unusually, rising from the grave. Busts and relief portraits were popular. High Baroque monuments were some of the grandest ever constructed. Decoration turned to cherubs, urns, drapery, garlands of fruit and flowers. In the 18th century, church monuments became more restrained, placed before two-dimensional pyramids, but more Roman-like, with the deceased often depicted in Roman dress or as a cameo-like 'medallion portrait'. The Rococo style gave more movement to these figures.

The early 19th century brought Greek Revival monuments, some quite plain wall plaques, some with sentimental and romantically realistic figures perhaps rising to heaven, or other devices such as weeping willows. Gothic Revival followed, with the obvious return to alabaster, tomb chests and recumbent effigies. However, the Victorian age saw many differing styles, until large-scale monuments fell out of fashion at the end of the century. 20th century large-scale monuments are not unknown, but quite rare.

The Monuments of Today

The Construction of a monuments has changed significantly over the years. In years past, a permanent monument was usually a large upright piece of sculpted stone containing the inscription of the persons name, date of birth and death. While these types of monuments are still used today, they now generally used to mark a family of graves, and individual graves are memorialized with a smaller grave marker monument. Grave markers are constructed from granite or a combination of granite and bronze. These grave marker monuments typically preserve the memory of one person, or a husband and wife, and they work in concert with the larger upright headstone monument. The use of large headstones and grave markers together create a beautiful memorial for an entire family.

Monument Gift

A good way to show your consideration and love is by the giving of a Gift Certificate for the purchase of a monument, headstone or marker. You may purchase a Gift Certificate from Clear Stream Monuments by clicking on the "Gift Certificate" link at the top of the page.

Preplanning a Monument

Monuments such as grave markers and head stones are often designed and purchased well in advance of a persons death. This allows the person to choose the style of their own monument, or to design a custom monument, and too alleviate stress on the family at the time of their death. This is an expression of love to your family, a gift to the living.

Clear Stream Monuments can assist you with preplanning your monument. We have a full line of monuments to commemorate yourself or a loved one. We have a large selection of monuments, headstones and grave markers to choose from, or we can assist you with creating a custom monument.

All of our monuments come with a warranty that gives you the assurance of quality craftsmanship that will last for many years to come. If you need assistance in creating a monument please feel free to call us at 888-578-1119 or email us at service@clearstreammonuments.com.

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