Some time before 1883, Benjamin Riley built a boot and shoe factory (now part of the Lawrence’s factory site). This was earlier than the significant concentration of footwear manufacture in powered factories in 1895. It is also one of the longest factories of its date in Northamptonshire. The Riley family also built the cottages at 15-21 Harborough Road (mid to late 19 century) as housing for workers and managers.
In 1913, Riley moved into an adjacent building (demolished in 1972) and sold the original building to Bird & Co (also footwear manufacturers). Bird & Co then converted the two storey building into a three storey building by excavating and adding a basement. Bird & Co also added to the building with a single storey extension along the eastern edge and also an extension fronting Gladstone Street (before 1926).
In the 1960s, the building was refurbished by the then owners R S Lawrence and Co. Leather Factors and Sole Cutters.
The building became disused at the turn of the millennium and became derelict. In the years since then the ownership of the site has changed (it is now owned by North Northamptonshire Council). There have been a number of suggestions and proposals for the site in that time including: a mixed-use development, a supermarket, and housing.