Hoxton Hall stands adjacent to the site of cattle sheds, a remnant of the time when all of the surrounding area was prime grazing land. In 1830 William James - known to his family as Billy Penvlan - walked his cattle from West Wales to Hoxton, a distance of 200 miles. He was the last in a long line of drovers in his family, men who had spent much of their lives walking to and from London in the gentle company of their cows.
When written down, Billy Penylan's story - that of his ancestry and the drover's lot - extends for over a quarter of a mile. Billy himself never wrote it down, but he ensured that it was passed through the generations to his great-great-great granddaughter, who heard it from her maternal grandmother. Often spurned, enduring much hardship, overlooked and ridiculed, tallying the miles they covered by counting the cairns, trees, clouds, mountains and finally the paving stones, the Long Story is about exile, heritage, destiny - and the journey we all must make from beginning to .... end?
The story will begin in the entrance to Hoxton Hall and weave in and out of the building, providing a narrative through-line in a variety of media, as visitors navigate the space. It will prompt us to consider what lies beneath the surface: a shared experience of the passage of time, the operation of memory and our own roots in the past - traces of which are all around us if we only take the time to look.