What Is Gravestone Resetting?

What Is Gravestone Resetting?

June 3, 2022

Resetting gravestones is the process of moving or repairing a headstone that has been damaged, toppled, or sunken into the ground. This is often done to preserve the stone or make it easier to read. There are many ways to reset a gravestone. The most common method is digging a trench around the stone and using levers to lift it out of the ground. The stone is then cleaned and reset in a new foundation.

Gravestone Resetting Strategies

It’s common for a groundskeeper or cemetery sexton to have a strategy for resetting gravestones. This might involve digging a series of small trenches around the stone and then prying it up with levers.

Manual Gravestone Resetting

In this approach, one person uses a crowbar or other tool to dig a small trench around the stone. Once the trench is deep enough, they’ll insert levers under the stone and use them to pry it out of the ground. If the stone is heavy or embedded in the ground, multiple people may be needed to lift it.

Machine-Assisted Gravestone Resetting

In this method, a machine called a gravestone lifter is used to dig a trench around the stone. The machine then inserts levers under the stone and uses them to lift it out of the ground. This method is often used for very large or heavy stones.

Why Reset Gravestones?

It’s common for family members to reset gravestones once they bend or show any physical damage. This has been a common practice among many property owners, and it’s essential to indicate that people undertake this necessary process because it offers several benefits, as discussed below.

  • Showing respect for the dead

It’s common knowledge that people respect the dead. Respecting the dead is one of the reasons why people don’t want to see graves in disarray. If a gravestone is damaged, it can be an eyesore and a reminder of death which most people would rather not see.

Resetting gravestones helps to ensure that they remain in good condition and are less likely to be damaged. This helps preserve the deceased’s memory and show respect for their final resting place.

  • Maintaining the integrity of the cemetery

Cemeteries are often meticulously maintained and well-kept. This is because they are not only a final resting place for the dead, but also a place where the living can come to remember and reflect on their loved ones.

If gravestones are allowed to sink or topple over, it can make the cemetery look unkempt and neglected. This can be a huge turn-off for potential visitors, so it’s essential to reset gravestones regularly.

  • Keeping gravestones readable

Keeping the writing on the gravestone visible is critical because it provides information about the person buried there. This includes their name, dates of birth and death, and sometimes even a short epitaph.

It can be challenging to read if a gravestone is damaged or sunken. This makes it hard for people to find the grave they’re looking for and can also make it harder to remember the person buried there.


Resetting gravestones is an essential part of cemetery maintenance. It helps preserve the stones, keep the cemetery looking tidy, and ensure that gravestones are readable. If you have a loved one buried in a graveyard, ensure their tombstone is reset if it becomes damaged or sunken into the ground. If you want to learn how to fix a leaning headstone, contact Phillipsburg Memorial Company. We specialize in gravestone resetting and can help you get your loved one’s headstone back in tip-top shape.

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