The 130-acre site on which Garden Village was to be built was purchased in 1907. It was the northern part of the estate of Holderness House (the Jalland estate). Holderness House and grounds are still the main experience of the Conservation Area for those passing along Holderness Road. This location meant an access road from Garden Village to the nearest point on Holderness Road was needed. This became known as Village Road and initially was not built up apart from four houses at the junction with Holderness Road, which, together with a statue to James Stuart, J.P. and the mature trees nearby, serve well to announce the main entrance to Garden Village.
The development has a low density of housing, hedges and trees. These along with the architecture of the houses in Garden Village make it distinct. The buildings were designed by local architects Percy Runton and William Barry and they give the area real character.
There is a remarkable uniformity in the overall design of the housing. There are approximately 600 Garden Village Estate houses in 12 different styles and five grades, averaging 12 houses to the acre.
The development of Garden Village itself took place in two distinct phases, starting in 1908 and 1923, although most of the major buildings were completed in the earlier phase.
All the houses were a great improvement on the existing housing available for Reckitt's workers in Hull, but the five grades reflected the position of the occupants in the firm. Whilst these differed in the extent of the accommodation, they have many features in common. They were all designed by the same architects, which emphasises the way in which each house forms part of and contributes to the character of the whole. This variation in size of houses relating to the position of the occupants was a feature of housing built specifically for workers in one firm and is seen in the earlier Model Villages, such as Saltaire.
Many of the buildings are now listed as being of architectural or historic interest, are the first grade, basically the Managers' houses, which include the detached and semi-detached houses on The Oval and Village Road.
In the 1920's, however, there were some semi-detached houses built along the western side of Village Road. These were not in the same style as the rest of the houses in Garden Village in that, for example, they had shallower-pitched slate roofs. There was also development on part of the east side of Village Road in the 1960s.