The oldest domestic buildings in the village are probably the Stitch-in-Time house and the Food Room. The Malt House, the Old White Cottage, Old Manor Farm, Ivy House and part of The Old Forge date from Tudor and Stuart times.
A fine example of an 18th century Georgian house is The Grange in Church Lane and Manor Farm in High Street dates from the same period.
The old part of the village consisting of High Street, Church Lane, Main Street, Chapel Lane, Cottage Lane and part of Newbold Road was designated a Conservation Area by Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council in 1981.
In the medieval period the Manor of Desford belonged to the Earls of Leicester, who in the 14th century became also Dukes of Lancaster and in 1399 were united with the Crown. The present Queen, as a result, is the Patron of St. Martin's Church. The other great influence on the village during these times was the proximity of Leicester Forest, a Royal Hunting Forest, on the south, in which villagers had important rights of common until it was disafforested in 1628.
The great majority of villagers were engaged in agriculture until at least 1700, farming arable strips in four Open Fields of the parish, and pasturing their animals on the low lying meadows by the streams. In 1760, however, by private Act of Parliament, the 1000 acres of the Open Fields were enclosed, and the new fields hedged and farmed separately; an enormous change.