Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Dedicating a memorial bench to a loved one who has died can be a touching way to honour their memory.
This blog will take you through the process of organising a memorial bench, how to install one in a public place of your choice and will address other questions regarding the types and cost of a memorial bench.
Where can you place a memorial bench?
Many families like the idea of placing a remembrance bench in a public place - it could be a spot the individual or family has a special connection with such as the seaside or their local park or garden.
Some even like to have a bench installed in their back garden to remind them of their loved one and to spend time to quietly reflect on their life. Others have a preferred cemetery, churchyard or a woodland area they’d like to place a bench in.
How can I get a memorial bench in a public place?
If you have decided to place a memorial bench in a public area such as a street or a local park, you will need to get in touch with the local council to ask for permission and enquire about your options. Many councils have commemorative schemes which allow you to dedicate a memorial bench in the local area, whether this is a garden, national park or at an outdoor attraction
Some councils allow you to purchase or dedicate a memorial bench by putting in an online application. The placement and maintenance of the bench in a public place will usually be undertaken by the Council.
If you want to dedicate a bench at your local crematorium, cemetery or churchyard, you will similarly need to get in touch with the grounds manager for permission to install a bench at these places.
Does the Council supply the memorial bench?
This depends on individual town councils or local authority as each have their own set of rules and policies regarding setting up of memorial benches. Some councils supply their own commemorative benches while others allow families to buy their own bench.
How much does a memorial bench cost?
If supplied by the council, the cost will vary according to the location of the bench, it’s size, size of the inscription (if any) and any installation and maintenance costs. An inscribed plaque may be included in the cost or the council might ask you to purchase a plaque separate to the cost of the bench. Depending on the design and material of the bench, it can cost anything upwards of £300.
In popular parts of London, dedicating a bench to a loved one can cost over £1,000, while a similar dedication within a popular tourist spot such as the Botanic Gardens in Birmingham costs about £2,500.
What are the types of memorial benches I can get?
Memorial benches can be purchased in a variety of materials - wood, stone or metal. The most popular type is hardwood, due to its durability. Popular wooden species include teak, mahogany, oak, pine and roble, among others.
The memorial bench can be a three, four or five seater and comes in a range of designs and styles.
What do I write on a memorial bench?
The most common inscription will include the person’s name, date of birth, and the date they died. Others would like to personalise the inscription by adding a favourite quote, lines from a favourite poem, song or hymn.
Due to limited space on a memorial bench plaque, it’s best to keep the inscription short and simple. The most important thing to bear in mind while writing an inscription is to come up with genuine and heartfelt words which reflect your loved one’s life.
How do I get a memorial garden bench engraved?
You can either get your memorial bench engraved or purchase a brass, aluminium or stainless steel memorial plaque featuring an inscription that can be attached to the bench. Either option is available at an average cost of £50.
Read about other ways to commemorate the life of someone special by dedicating a public memorial to them.