Poor Frank Raw

Hand carved lettering on stone

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What did the Romans ever do for us? Well apart from giving us the makings of a road network, indoor heating, sewers and a wall to keep out the Scots, they gave us carved lettering. Our classic V cut letters are exactly like those cut by the Romans. And it didn't end when the Romans left, there are people today carving beautiful letters on stone just the way the Romans did.

I carve lettering on limestone, sandstone, slate, marble and other stones, using a hammer and chisel. You can watch me in action on YouTube.

The UK has the most fantastic library of hand carved lettering and it can be seen in almost every village and town in the country - in the local churchyard. The finest carved lettering will be on headstones up to around 1825, before the Victorians used a confusion of unsuitable lettering styles and before mechanisation lowered the tone.

Only after I learned to carve lettering on stone did I start looking more carefully at headstones. There are some details of things I have seen in churchyards here.

Once in a long while I write a blog post. Feel free to tell me what you think.

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