Doing headstone rubbings in Hope Bagot

Headstone rubbings are an important part of a gravestone recording project as they allow us to make 1:1 copies of some stones. There are a number of do's and don't's involved and here Oliver outlines the main one - do not rub fragile stones. The rule of thumb we follow is to leave the headstones better than we found them.

The main guidance for doing rubbings are;

1. to pick a dry, low-wind day.

2. Never do a rubbing of a fragile stone - some of the stones in Hope Bagot were so fragile that they looked like a sneeze would cause damage.

3. We don't do rubbings to read inscriptions or epitaphs; those can be read using a mirror or torch.

4. We usually do rubbings to record the religious symbols carved into the top of the stone.

5. Deep-cut stones do not make for good rubbings - shallow-cut and carved stones are best.

6. Photograph the rubbing sheet while it is still taped to the headstone (set the camera to 10 MPs).


Short interview with Oliver on the rubbing he has just completed.