The megaliths of Kensal Green.
As much as I love a High Victorian cemetery, the reason for my excursion was to locate a very bizarre and forgotten 'signpost' of London's history.
Kensal Green Cemetery is one of what is referred to as 'The Magnificent Seven'; was inspired by Père Lachaise in Paris and opened in 1833. It is complete with 3 chapels, numerous neo classical - gothic revival mausoleums and two very creepy catacombs lined with coffins, set in enormous and largely overgrown grounds that hummed in the midday sun with wave after wave of pale high-summer grass, wildflowers and clouds of insects.
By 1850, the population of London had risen to 2.5 million, resulting in a lack of burial space.. rotting bodies were literally piling up and body snatching was rife. Greusome stuff !! Hence the establishment of seven enormous cemetaries all located within the London area.
This site, also runs above one of London's lost rivers..Counters Creek, which rises within the boundaries of the cemetery.
However, the provenance of this unknown standing stone has been lost and it took me almost an hour to even find it, so hidden was it in plain sight. It is not a grave marker and there are at least two more within the grounds. The colossal stone has never been recorded in the burial records and was so much larger than I had been led to believe.
There are still a few sarcen stones left in this city..many broken up and used in building and boundary markers. As the land was cleared for the plough and ancient superstitions were subdued, these remains of an earlier devotion to the land were removed.
But, it was rather lovely to sit awhile, hidden by the tall grasses, with the harvestman spiders and the ragwort and vetch and wonder... in the impressive shadow of another henge..the gasometer.
The remains of life that once proliferated our planet were stored here.. but, the stone warm, weather beaten and coarse to the touch, was present at their birth and was an enduring companion at their death. It has surpassed all life and will continue to do so..even when, one day, I will be a component of many daisies that turn towards the sun and when all things have passed.