Invented by William Bickford in 1831, the "Safety Fuze" for igniting gunpowder, an invention that saved many lives was first manufactured in a building on the opposite side of the road from the present site, which was acquired from the Tuckingmill Foundry much later.
The company underwent many changes of name and was registered as a limited liability company in 1888 when it became Bickford, Smith and Co. Ltd. It was rebuilt and refronted in 1910 when production was transferred over the road.
In 1921 Nobel Industries took over the company and fuse was continued to be made here until July 1961. The site finally closed in 1962.
Some of the buildings to the eastern corner of the site were sold off as retail outlets and remain so to this day.
Teagles, an engineering firm who manufacture agricultural equipment used the site sometime after '62. I believe it was during this time that the huge sheds at the back of the site were built. More recently Powerhouse Indoor Karting used these sheds as a Kart track.
The building which fronts the main road has been Grade 2 listed and forms part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site. While the stonework is impressive, there is not much else remaining. The whole site is very chavved/pikey'd and there was an overpowering stench of recent burning even on a cold, damp sunday.
This one has been in the back of my mind, yet off the radar for some time due to its condition. This however: http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/images/cpr_routemap.jpg due to be built very soon made me pull my finger out. Lots of derelictions are disappearing fast around here due to regeneration schemes. This one is to be carved up for a road, housing and shops. I'm not sure of the plans for the Listed parts, knowing of English Heritage beaurocracy, any plans will be rejected until the building succumbs to gravity.