How and why grave monuments become illegible

Frost damage

Like wind and water erosion, frost damage to gravestone monuments is greatly influenced by the type of stone. Unlike wind and water erosion, once it starts it can very quickly make a monument completely illegible.

The most likely type of stone to suffer frost damage are those made from soft layered stone such as sandstone. Other much harder stones such as granite are the least effected by frost damage. However occasionally slate which is a very hard but layered stone can be damaged by frost.

Besides actually damaging the stone itself, frost can also cause damage to those stones which have inlayed lettering. When water gets behind inlayed lettering and freezes it can then cause the lettering to drop out of place.

frost damage at Campsea Ashe, Suffolk (1742)
Example of frost damage

frost damage at Castleton, Derbyshire (6713)
Example of frost damage

frost damage at Campsea Ashe, Suffolk (1736)
Example of frost damage that has caused lettering to fall out.

frost damage at Castleton, Derbyshire (6827)
Example of frost damage

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