Duxford

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Duxford
The Green, Duxford, Cambridgeshire.jpg
The Green, Duxford (November 2017)
Duxford is located in Cambridgeshire
Duxford
Duxford
Location within Cambridgeshire
Population1,836 [1]
2,099 (2011 Census)[2]
OS grid referenceTL481461
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCambridge
Postcode districtCB22
Dialling code01223
PoliceCambridgeshire
FireCambridgeshire
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Cambridgeshire
52°05′35″N 0°09′32″E / 52.093°N 0.159°E / 52.093; 0.159Coordinates: 52°05′35″N 0°09′32″E / 52.093°N 0.159°E / 52.093; 0.159

Duxford is a village in Cambridgeshire, England, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Cambridge. It is part of the Hundred Parishes area.

History[edit]

The village formed on the banks of the River Cam, a little below its emergence from the hills of north Essex. One of the more populous settlements in its hundred, it was split into two ecclesiastical parishes in medieval times until they were united in 1834.[3]

Originally known as Duxworth and listed as Dukeswrthe in the 10th century, and Dochesuuorde in the Domesday Book the village's name comes from "Worth (enclosure) of a man called Duc".[4]

Churches[edit]

The village has two Grade I listed medieval parish churches, St John's Church and St Peter's Church. The two parishes were combined in 1874, services being held thereafter at St Peter's; St John's remained a chapel of ease and finally declared redundant. Still consecrated, it is now in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust. The churchyard has been cleared of headstones and is maintained by Duxford Parish Council. To the north of the village close to the Royston to Newmarket road lies Duxford Chapel, a 14th-century chantry chapel that was probably part of the Hospital of St John.[5] St Peter's is part of a small group of churches along with St Mary Magdalene, Ickleton and St Mary & St John, Hinxton. They are known jointly as 'Hinkledux' and services are divided between the three parishes. St Peter's has a bell-ringing group and hosts a pre-school meet up for new parents known as Tiddlers. The current incumbent is Rev. Lydia Smith.

A Congregational chapel was built in the late 18th century and licensed in 1794, and at its peak in 1850 had a weekly congregation of 350. The chapel joined with other Congregational churches in uniting with the Presbyterian Church of England in 1972, and has been known as Duxford United Reformed Church since then. It is listed Grade II. The final service was held here was in June 2019 and it was sold for conversion to residences in 2021. It is now two separate residences, one of which is an Air BnB for short-term lets.

Airfield[edit]

Duxford gives its name to RAF Duxford (now called Duxford Aerodrome), a former Royal Air Force airfield that was used as a sector station during the Battle of Britain. Duxford Aerodrome was the home of Douglas Bader's Big Wing during that battle. Duxford airfield later became a fighter airfield for the United States Army Air Forces operating P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft. In 1972 the Ministry of Defence began to house historically important aircraft in the hangars, which in 1977 became the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

The airfield was used in the motion picture The Battle of Britain. During that production one of the hangars was blown up to simulate a Luftwaffe bombing raid. There are currently three all-weekend air shows a year which have good visibility from the village and it is common to see planes flying over the village, either leisure flights or in essential practice.

Village life[edit]

Planes flying in an airshow in Duxford

The village currently has two remaining pubs – The John Barleycorn[6] and The Plough. Other former pubs include The Wheatsheaf (which re-opened in 2018 as Graystones deli/cafe), the Three Horseshoes, first recorded in 1786, the King's Head which opened in the mid-19th century[3] and the Flower Pot, located at the end of the old airfield runway on what is now Hunts Road. The latter was a popular haunt for pilots during the war [7]

The village holds an annual Advent Market[8] at St John's Church to raise funds which are then available for local projects which enhance the quality of life for residents. There is also an annual Soap Box Derby in September. Since it began in 2013 it has raised £74,150 for Cancer Research UK. There is a Duxford Women's Institute, a local drama group (DVD - Duxford Village Drama) and a bowls club. The National Garden Scheme sees several private gardens open to the public for one day a year including Robynet House and Duxford Mill. The local football team is Duxford United FC who play their home games on the recreation ground on Hunts Road. The Duxford Lawn Tennis Club has two courts on the same ground. The school is a Church of England Primary School in the Diocese of Ely which has a breakfast and after-school club (DX) and a playgroup on site.

In May 2019 the foundations of a new village community centre were dug and the finished building was opened to the public in May 2020. It is now a thriving hub hosting many village and private events, social groups and meetings. There is a vibrant café, Café 19, which attracts a faithful clientelle for their superb cakes, coffees and lunches.

A new public green space was opened in 2020 known as Brewery Field; its landscaping is still currently ongoing, including planting, sowing of chalk upland flowers and plants and public utilitiy installations.

In late July 2020 a fire gutted the pre-school of Duxford School and the rebuilding is currently under construction (November 2022).

The monthly parish magazine for the village, delivered free of charge to every household, is called The Duxford Chatterbox.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2001 Census Archived 2006-04-01 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. Vol. 6. Victoria County History. 1978. pp. 201–220.
  4. ^ A. D. Mills (2003). "A Dictionary of British Place-Names".
  5. ^ "Duxford Chapel". English Heritage.
  6. ^ "The John Barleycorn Hotel, Pub & Restaurant Duxford". The John Barleycorn Duxford.
  7. ^ "Data" (PDF). www.impmac.co.uk. 2015.
  8. ^ "About us". Duxford Advent Trust.

External links[edit]