HomeGarden VillageHistory of the Garden Village AreaHistory of the Garden Village Area

Garden Village



In Hull, East Yorkshire, England - approx. 2 miles NE of City Centre along Holderness Road (click on the link below for a location map).

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A walk around the Village

New for 2005 are seven Panoramic views. These are intended to be wider than the screen, scroll to see the whole thing. If you have Windows XP, it will shrink the views to fit on the screen. In this case, we recommend that you click on the 'regular size' button to see the images full size.

  1. 1 Village Road The biggest gable end in the Village is, fittingly, at its entrance. This was formerly a doctor's surgery and is now a private house. The statue on the right is to James Stuart J.P., given by Thos. R. Ferens.

  2. James Reckitt Havens A panoramic view of "The Sir James Reckitt Village Haven." The last gift of the late Sir James Reckitt, Bart., to the aged.

  3. 71 Village Road The former Village Office, now a private house.

  4. Frederick Reckitt Havens A panoramic view. Some of these have been combined to provide larger apartments.

  5. St. Columba's Church Hall which would no doubt have stood in when the Village Hall was lost. It is now largely used as the Garden Village Pre-School.

  6. Cherry Tree Avenue A rare example of a three-house block in the Village.

  7. The Shopping Centre from Cherry Tree Avenue. Now through the archway...

  8. The Shopping Centre A panoramic view from Beech Avenue. Members of the Garden Village Society wind the clock once a week.

  9. Beech Avenue A pair of semi-detached houses, unusual in having buttresses.

  10. Lime Tree Avenue A six-house block.

  11. Chestnut Grove This appears to be an eight-house block. We don't know why the fire engine was there.

  12. Chestnut Grove A pair of semi-detached houses, showing some repairs to the rendering!

  13. Chestnut Grove A block of four houses, near to James Reckitt Avenue.

  14. Pashby House Originally the Reckitts Girls Hostel, later a therapeutic community, and now a Social Services office.

  15. James Reckitt Avenue A block of six of one type of house.

  16. James Reckitt Avenue Several blocks of another type of house.

  17. 57 & 59 Laburnum Avenue The Architects, Runton & Barry, created a great variety of houses. The shutters here were added by the occupants.

  18. 13 & 15 Laburnum Avenue

  19. 1 to 7 Laburnum Avenue

  20. Juliet Reckitt Havens on Laburnum Avenue, a panoramic view. Originally accommodating eight, it has recently been converted into four apartments that meet modern expectations!

  21. 11 & 12 Lilac Avenue

  22. 3 & 7 May Tree Avenue

  23. 15 & 17 May Tree Avenue

  24. 35 & 37 May Tree Avenue

  25. The Club House on Elm Avenue, a panoramic view. It is now Humberside Police Youth and Community Centre.

  26. The Oval A panoramic view of the main open space in the Village. Originally tennis and bowls were played here, and there was a railing around the perimeter, taken away during World War 2.

  27. The Triangle between Elm Avenue and Lime Tree Avenue. The second open space in the Village. It was originally a Children's Playing Ground. During World War 2, a barrage balloon was tethered here.

  28. 1 Lime Tree and 34 Elm Avenue

  29. 77 & 79 Village Road

  30. The Elm Avenue Walk Lovers' Walk was originally an elm-lined lane leading from Holderness Road to Picard's farm.  The part near Holderness Road was later incorporated into the Holderness House grounds.

  31. Maple Grove A panoramic view of this grove, with 16 The Oval on the left.

  32. Daffodils in Elm Avenue In 2004 residents of the Garden Village planted a lot of daffodil bulbs in Elm Avenue. Here are the results of their labours.

  33. Crocuses in Elm Avenue They also planted many crocus bulbs in Elm Avenue.

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War damage photos

Here are nine photographs of bomb damage inflicted on the Garden Village in an air raid on 18th August 1941. 52 Beech Avenue, 1 The Shopping Centre and the semi-detached pair of houses, 6 Lime Tree Avenue/1 Cherry Tree Avenue were totally destroyed.

The Hull City Council war damage photographs are published courtesy of Hull City Archives. For copies and further information please contact Hull City Archives on 01482 615110 or e-mail city.archives@hullcc.gov.uk

  1. Morton's grocery shop. Eddie Morton was 31 years old when the bombing started that night. He was in bed and when the bomb came down he finished up in Beech Avenue still in bed!

  2. Looking to the Poplars, Durham St. from behind 50 Beech Avenue.

  3. 50 Beech Avenue, Shopping Centre behind.

  4. Gable end of 50 Beech Avenue looking to 48 etc.

  5. Morton's shop and Shopping Centre.

  6. Morton's shop and Shopping Centre.

  7. Morton's shop and Beech Avenue.

  8. Morton's grocery shop. Now Salon Morrell.

  9. 52, 54 Beech Avenue.

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A trip back in time

Here are thirty-seven old photographs of the Garden Village, taken from 1908 to 1925. The quality of some of the photos is poor, due to their age.

  1. Opening Ceremony for the Garden Village, 1st July 1908. The speakers on the balcony of 7 The Oval are Sir James Reckitt, Mr. Tom Ferens M.P., the Mayor of Hull, and the architect, Mr. P.T. Runton A.R.I.B.A.

  2. The Village Hall view from Elm Avenue, shortly after completion in 1910. It was bombed in 1941 and bungalows were later built on the site.

  3. The Village Hall view of the Oval side in 1910. The gift of Sir James Reckitt, Bart.

  4. The Village Hall interior in 1925, "Decorated". The organ was the gift of Lady Reckitt.

  5. The Village Hall interior, from the platform end. It seems to be set out for a religious service.

  6. The Club House in 1910. It opened in 1909 as a social club for residents who paid an annual subscription of five shillings. The Club House was donated by Mr. Albert Reckitt. It is now Humberside Police Youth and Community Centre.

  7. The Club House around 1920.

  8. The Club House interior corridor and café (through the arches on the right,) complete with kitchen.

  9. The Club House billiards room. Note the hatch from the kitchen between two benches.

  10. Elm Avenue Walk around 1920, looking south.

  11. 9 & 11 Elm Avenue around 1910.

  12. The Oval in 1910, again looking south. The Village Hall, which opened in November 1910, is not yet completed. Note the rocks at the end of the Oval.

  13. 7 & 8 The Oval around 1910.

  14. 9 & 10 The Oval around 1910.

  15. 11 & 12 The Oval around 1910.

  16. 13 & 14 The Oval around 1910.

  17. Tennis in the Garden Village, 1925, on the Oval looking towards Elm Avenue.

  18. The Rhododendron Bed, which is still at the south end of the Oval, around 1915.

  19. The Shopping Centre from Cherry Tree Avenue, 1910. The rear window of Hammonds can be seen on the left and Peter Partington's butchers shop on the right. The advert in the latter window reads 'Ox Beef'.

  20. The Shopping Centre Garden Village, 1925.

  21. The Shopping Centre showing the grocery shop at the end of the north wing.

  22. The Village Office in 1910, No. 71 Village Road. It was later the Manse of Holderness Road Methodist Church and is now a private house.

  23. The Village Office around 1920 with Mr. Harry Filburn, the Garden Village Estate manager, standing outside.

  24. End of Village Road in 1910. Nos. 77 & 79 on the left; No. 81 on the right; Maple Grove in the background. Note the newly planted privet hedges.

  25. 81 Village Road in 1910. Mr. William Dent Priestman, the General Manager of Priestman Brothers, was a tenant here. The original address of this house was 1 Chestnut Crescent. In April 1910, the address was changed to 1 Village Road. When Village Road was re-numbered from the Holderness Road end in 1923, the address became 81 Village Road.

  26. 22 Maple Grove in 1910. This house is at the corner of Maple Grove and Laburnum Avenue.

  27. 111 & 109 Laburnum Avenue around 1910.

  28. 58 to 52 Laburnum Avenue around 1910.

  29. The Grove in 1925, near the northern end of Laburnum Avenue.

  30. The corner of Laburnum Avenue and Lilac Avenue, in about 1910. James Reckitt Avenue had yet to be laid out.

  31. 14 to 11 Lilac Avenue in about 1910.

  32. 1 May Tree Avenue in about 1910.

  33. 2 May Tree Avenue in about 1910.

  34. 35 & 37 May Tree Avenue in about 1910. Building materials seem to have been stockpiled on the Oval.

  35. Juliet Reckitt Havens in about 1910. A block of eight almshouses, the gift of Miss Juliet Reckitt, in the Garden Village.

  36. Frederick Reckitt Havens in 1925. Part of block of twelve Almshouses for Aged Employees of the Firm and residents of the Garden Village, the gift of the late Mr. Frederick Isaac Reckitt.

  37. James Reckitt Havens in 1925. Some of the Almshouses known as "The Sir James Reckitt Village Haven." The last gift of the late Sir James Reckitt, Bart., to the aged.

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June 2007 Floods

On 25 June 2007 Hull was flooded (along with many other places).  Here are a few photos taken then.
  1. Maple Grove flooding on 25 June 2007.

  2. Maple Grove about 5 a.m. on 26 June 2007.  The flooding was still there but cleared up amazingly later that morning.

  3. Maple Grove about 5 a.m. on 26 June 2007.  The Garden Village was flooded a lot less than other parts of Hull.

  4. Holly Grove looking towards Laburnum Avenue.

  5. The bungalows at the end of The Oval.

  6. The Oval near May Tree Avenue.

  7. The Oval has become a lake!

  8. Alan Robinson outside 2 The Oval.

  9. The Oval looking towards May Tree Avenue.

  10. The Oval outside the bungalows.

  11. Sandra Robinson outside 1 The Oval

  12. Sandra Robinson again outside 1 The Oval.

  13. Looking along The Oval.

  14. The raised bed of trees at the end of The Oval.

  15. The raised bed of trees at the end of The Oval again.

  16. Gary Myers in Holly Grove.

  17. Holly Grove again.

  18. Canoeing on The Oval.

  19. More canoeing on The Oval.

  20. Holly Grove, the Myers children.

  21. Rear garden, 1 The Oval.

  22. Looking across The Oval towards the Club House.

  23. Yet more canoeing on The Oval.

  24. Laburnum Avenue near Holly Grove from inside a car.

  25. Children wading at Lilac Avenue.

  26. 1 May Tree Avenue with Lilac Avenue in the foreground.

  27. May Tree Avenue looking south.

  28. May Tree Avenue looking north.

  29. May Tree Avenue tenfoot.

  30. Laburnum Avenue near Holly Grove.

  31. Elm Avenue looking south.

  32. Elm Avenue looking north.

Photographs are from (1-3) Mrs. S. D. Houlton, (4-21) Mr. A. D. Robinson, (22-23) Mr. P. Reep, (24-26) Mr. D. Ward, (27-32) Mr. C.Moore.

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Horticultural history

The Garden Village was built between 1907 and 1910. As each house was finished, privet hedges were planted around the perimeter. Thus each garden had boundaries of privet. So we now have restrictions in what we can grow. Over the years, some hedges have been discarded and walls or fences used, but most hedges remain. Sir James Reckitt, the prime mover in the building of the Garden Village, wanted it to be possible for each resident to have more space to enjoy and to grow their own vegetables. With this in mind, most properties had a wide back-road for deliveries of manure as well as the usual coal.

There was an annual show held by the Horticultural Society and regular meetings in the Club House. I made photocopies of the first booklet of the Horticultural Society showing that it was founded in 1910, and they were planning the first show for August 12th, 1911. There were to be 60 classes, including flowers and vegetables, and the last three were for types of bread. There were many interesting prizes offered, a silver cup for the best rose, a clock for the best carnation, given by two local jewellers. Then there were some money prizes and a bag of manure for the best sweet peas!

There are some lovely early photographs showing the trees as saplings, because when the Village was being built, most of the streets were given the names of trees and the appropriate trees planted. Unfortunately forest trees were chosen, maple, lime, plane, and beech, also horse chestnuts which became unpopular during the conker season and many have now been replaced by hornbeams and cherries. Also in the booklet are photographs of the Reckitt family and many interesting adverts. This was not a small booklet, with approximately 50 pages, and the foreword taking 4 pages. To enter any class one had to be a member of the Village Club House, with the subscription of 5 shillings, payable half-yearly!

Most of the original buildings are still here, though bombing during the war demolished the fine Village Hall, never rebuilt, and some houses which were. The Club House still stands but we have no Horticultural Society. We do have a Garden Village Society which holds an annual Garden Competition.

Shelagh Houlton 2003

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The Garden Village

(Excerpt from Reckitt & Sons Ltd. and their Welfare Work, 1925.)

The Garden Village was inaugurated by Sir James Reckitt, Bart. The estate comprises 130 acres. The total number of houses is about 600, and the population is slightly over 3,000.

"The objects of this Garden Village," said Sir James Reckitt, in opening the Village in July, 1908, "are to provide a House and a good Garden, in fact a better house if possible, and a garden attached for the same rent as is now paid for inferior houses with no garden at all." That the undertaking had fulfilled the hopes of its founder was shown by the fact that the occupiers of the houses a year or two later presented Sir James with a beautiful album containing an address and photographs, expressing their deep appreciation of the conditions under which they were living. The Firm are large debenture holders.

The Village Hall, the gift of Sir James Reckitt, is available for religious services, public meetings and social events; its organ was the gift of Lady Reckitt. The Village Club of which Mr. Albert R. Reckitt was the donor, in memory of his father, Mr. George Reckitt, is the centre of the social activities of the Village. The Village Green known as the "Oval" is used for recreative purposes in the form of tennis and bowls. At the rear of the Club is a Children's Playing Ground. In a quiet corner of the Village is situated a block of eight Almshouses, the gift of Miss Juliet Reckitt, daughter of Mr. George Reckitt, reserved for aged employees of the Company, or residents of the Village. The Houses are allotted rent free to the occupiers. In another corner there is a block of twelve similar Homes, the gift of the late Mr. Frederick I. Reckitt, with similar facilities.

A Horticultural Society of the Village holds annual Exhibitions, and Prizes are given annually by the Right Hon. T.R. Ferens for the best gardens in the various classes.

On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday Sir James Reckitt, Bart., made the gift of a dozen almshouses, known as "The Sir James Reckitt Village Haven," erected on the Garden Village road which is the main approach to the Village. "The Haven" consists of twelve self-contained houses, designed to give the maximum amount of comfort and requiring the minimum amount of domestic work. Each house has a light cheerful living room looking on the Village road, with comfortable bedroom annex, separate bathroom, and scullery, with hot and cold water service, and the usual conveniences all contained under the one roof. With half-timbered gables and red-tiled roofs, the houses are in keeping with the Village architecture.

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The Garden Village Centenary

The Garden Village Centenary celebrations took place on 27 July 2008.  Here is a selection of photos of the event.

  1. Book Stall and Garden Village marquee on The Oval

  2. Mrs Sandra Robinson at the Garden Village Cake Stall

  3. Centenary Steering Group members Sandra Robinson and Jill Burdall

  4. Two Edwardian ladies

  5. A visitor from Shetland meets a friend from the Avenues

  6. 1950's comes back to Garden Village

  7. Gathering for the unveiling ceremony, Village road/Holderness Road

  8. Spectators awaiting the unveiling ceremony, Village road/Holderness Road

  9. Village Road/Holderness Road prior to the unveiling ceremony

  10. Chairman Peter Reep, Deputy Lord Mayor, Mrs Mary Reckitt and Mike Chambers.

  11. Rev. William Mather and Rev. Viv Smith at the plaque

  12. Steering Group members at the plaque.

  13. East Yorkshire Motor Services band at No 7 The Oval.

  14. Opening ceremony 2008 at No 7 The Oval

  15. Closeup of the re-enactment of the opening ceremony.

  16. A shot of the band from a different angle.

  17. The festivities seen from the end of the Oval.

  18. The celebrations seen across the Oval, towards Elm Avenue.

  19. The childrens' playground, including bouncy castle.

Photographs are from (1-14) Mr. P. Reep, (15-19) Mrs. S. Houlton.

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