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 1874.
From medieval times the village was unusual in possessing two parish churches, each with a separate incumbent - these were St John's Church and St Peter's Church, only the latter of which still functions as a church. 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.
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.
Duxford gives its name to RAF Duxford, 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 became the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
The village currently has two remaining pubs – The John Barleycorn and The Plough. The Wheatsheaf ceased trading in 2017. Other former pubs include the Three Horseshoes, first recorded in 1786, the King's Head which opened in the mid-19th century and the Flower Pot, located at the end of the old airfield runway on what is now Hunts Road, the Flower Pot was a popular haunt for pilots during the war  The village holds an annual Advent Market at St John's Church to raise funds which are then available for local projects which enhance the quality of life for residents.
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