Langham Street, London, W1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011
The Business of Pleasure, Volume I – Edmund Yates, 1865:
Just as a town has its suburbs, an army its pioneers, and a village its outskirts, so the great cemetery of Kensal Green (dedicated appropriately enough to All Souls) makes its vicinity felt some time before it is actually in sight. Once past the turnpike on the road, though yet a good half-mile from the nearest entrance, you are struck with certain signs and tokens which speak significantly of the region. The building to the right, just by the turn in the road, is an establishment for the sale of tombstones, and that monotonous grinding sound, which so grates on the ear, is occasioned by the polishing or the smoothing of the surface of a huge slab destined to be sacred to the memory of some person unknown, who is not impossibly at this moment alive and well. As you trudge along, and before you have done speculating how often the muddy canal to your left has been compared to the Styx, and whether a certain yard or field, also on the left, has been made a receptacle for carts and wagons which have departed this life, solely because of its locality, and, if not, why so many broken-up vehicles are there congregated, you come to more tombstone establishments.