top of page
  • testerandjones

A wide choice of coffins

In January this year, a primary school headteacher in Bath who was dying from cancer wrote a letter to her pupils thanking them for their ‘joy and friendship’. She added ‘never forget there is fairy dust to be found in every situation, no matter how difficult’.

She died the same day she penned the letter and, in tribute, her pupils were invited to draw pictures – including fairies, butterflies, love hearts, rainbows and ‘fairy dust’ – and these were wrapped around her coffin. 

This emphasises how much coffin design has changed over the years from a standard wooden ‘box’ to something which can tell a story about the person who has died.

Here at Tester & Jones, we’ve seen an increase in interest in themed coffins – either in wood or cardboard – which include a design which usually reflects somebody’s life or interests. Recently we have been asked to source coffins with both farming scenes and aircraft. 

Coffins have been in use for thousands of years now – with the earliest evidence of a wooden coffin dating from 5000BC and discovered in China.

The word ‘coffin’ comes from the Old French cofin and from the Latin cophinus, which translates into basket. The word was first used in the English language in 1380.

Today, coffins are commonplace in many parts of the world. Most tend to be a fairly standard shape, although in Ghana particularly some people aspire to be buried in coffins which really sum them up – perhaps the job they did or something they enjoyed in life. This might mean a fish-shaped one for a fisherman, car-shaped ones and even coffins shaped like lions, cigarette packets and chickens. 

We offer a variety of options when it comes to coffins in a range of different materials from traditional oak to Somerset Willow, bamboo, seagrass, wicker and cardboard.

With many people concerned with the environment nowadays, at Tester & Jones families can choose from natural and biodegradable coffins made from materials such as wicker or seagrass. 

We have noticed that Somerset Willow coffins, in particular, are growing in popularity. According to Somerset Willow England, willow coffins are a good choice for the environment and for those who seek to make their last footprint a green one.  Here are some reasons why: 

  • Willow is highly renewable, growing from the same crown for up to 60 years

  • Willow is extremely diverse, providing many natural engineering solutions

  • Willow tends to biodegrade much more quickly than conventional coffin materials, such as MDF, hardwood and metal

  • Willow is a very labour intensive material and requires little mechanical and chemical processing

  • Willow has a much higher water consumption than agricultural crops, in flood affected areas this can help to take pressure off the natural landscape.

We can offer round-ended or traditional coffins in Somerset Willow. Colour variations are achieved naturally by drying, boiling or stripping bark and there are two choices of colour – buff willow or weather-beaten gold, while coloured bands are also available. 

If you’ve got any questions about our range of coffins, please do get in touch.

26 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page