The Footstones: features, types and materials for making

Cemetery stones serve not just to distinguish deceased people in their burial spots. Such monuments help to commemorate and honor departed loved ones for many years to come. Gravestones can have many forms and variations. For example, everyone knows what is a headstone, and can immediately imagine it. However, have you ever heard about a footstone? Can you imagine it? In the meantime, both headstones and footstones maintain the end-of-life records and services. And the difference between these two cemetery rocks becomes even more significant when one needs to choose a gravestone to commemorate their deceased loved ones.

Footstones and headstones: what is the difference?

So a footstone is a grave marker located at the foot of a grave. Footstones are used only together with headstones. In most cases, families install footstones at the opposite sides of headstones. These grave markers serve as a boundary line for the grave. They are used to mark the foot of the grave. Yet, this is not their only goal. Often, one can find additional information about a deceased person on their footstone. Just like headstones, footstones are also very customizable. One can change the shape, color, design, and size of a footstone.

Usually, footstones are only several feet wide. They provide additional space for approximately 90 letters. Most commonly, people make pretty standard footstones. So they won’t distract attention from a headstone. To erect both headstones and footstones, we use grave-sized cement or concrete slab. Therefore, we achieve high structural rigidity of the whole monument. Granite is the most popular material to construct a footstone. All because of its durability and weather resistance.

The features of footstones

People widely use footstones to create boundary lines between burials. Such an approach also comes in handy for cemeteries. When a cemetery needs to repair or replace a headstone, a footstone prevents potential mistakes when installing a corrected or a new headstone. It also helps grieving relatives, as they can still visit a graveside to honor a deceased loved one, even if the main monument is still in production. According to traditions, a footstone should face the same direction as a headstone. In Christian cemeteries, most memorials and footstones face east. Non-sectarian cemeteries don’t have such limitations. However, such cemeteries may have other placing rules and regulations.

As we have said before, footstones are much smaller and lower than headstones. This allows using footstones to mark family plots or other burials that have become the last resting place for several people. Also, some cemeteries may not have a space for a large headstone. Here, a footstone can become the main monument and a perfect alternative to a conventional tombstone. Often one can encounter an example of such footstones on small modern cemeteries.


As you can see, footstones also play a crucial role when creating a cemetery monument. Apart from marking the length of the burial, they also can provide additional information about deceased ones. Exquisite custom footstones can make a gravesite much more beautiful.