Sandstone is a beautiful stone, soft and porous, it can be carved into fine shapes. But as this gravestone shows it also dissolves, especially in out acid rain environment. In this case the stone has turned black, probably from pollution, as Stoke-on-Trent was a very smoky place, due to the coal fired potteries. And yet the church is clean. I don’t know if it has been cleaned but it has had some restoration.
The lettering on the headstone is almost lost. Its almost as if a layer has peeled off. Gone but not forgotten? It depends on whether the family still exists, and whether they still live in the area.
Other stones in the graveyard are in worse or better condition. Some have been turned into steps, gradually wearing away under foot.