“Reach back to a bygone era of quiet beauty ..”

The Flowering Reflection Pond

Created by damming the drainage brook in the center of the estate, the Flowering Reflection Pond was established to create a place of quiet beauty and reflection.  As a destination point for a morning stroll or the site of an impromptu picnic, the pond was a central point.  Originally graced with a white sand bottom and home to koi fish and turtles, it was a keynote in the vision that was the Maudsleigh Estate.  Bordering it's edge are mountain laurel and rhododendron which reflect off the pond waters.

Restoration Update Spring 2014

The Pond Restoration Committee is delighted to report a significant amount of progress in the restoration of The Flowering Pond over the past 12 months.  Last spring, ESS Group out of Waltham, Massachusetts worked through Phase 1 of the four proposed phases to improve the quality of the pond.  Through partial breaching of three separate beaver dams, water flow increased significantly through the pond over the course of the spring and into the early summer months. 
In April, the committee applied for a 2:1 grant through DCR's Partnership Matching Grant Program in order to fund Phase 2 of the restoration which will secure the banks to prevent further erosion, design various drainage fields so that rain waters are directed to those fields rather than into the pond and secure the trails around the pond and Three Arch Bridge.  We learned in December that we received the grant so work can begin in the spring.  Before ESS, Inc, works through Phase 2, DCR will removes the trees that have fallen into the pond due to erosion as well as those dead trees on the banks.
Fundraising has been imperative to the progress that has been realized to date.  Through the Chili Ride in November, Maudslay calendar sales in December and January, and private donations, the committee has raised funds to support the work through the permitting stage of Phase 3.  But the most expensive portion of Phase 3 is the dredging which hopefully will begin in the spring of 2015.  Additional applications for grants and other fundraising opportunities will be explored. 
Anyone interested in making a donation to the Pond Fund can send a check made out to MSPA to 74 Curzon Mill Road, Newburyport, MA 01950.  In the memo, mention The Flowering Pond Fund.  No amount is too small. 
Thank you in advance for your generosity.


Draining, dredging and refilling the Pond is a necessary and desirable by-product of the restoration of the Three Arch Bridge.  The Pond will first have to be drained completely, the bridge stones recovered, the bottom dredged and debris and decay removed and then it can be allowed to refill.  If possible, mechanisms will be put in place to see that the health of the pond is maintained.

The restoration vision includes resettling of fish and turtles into the pond.

A view of the Flowering Pond The Pond with the Bridge in the background

                          Maudslay Pond

The pond is becoming choked with vegetation and downed trees contributing to its unhealthy condition.

                          Maudslay Pond


Updated 10/12/15

With the upcoming approval of a DCR 2:1 matching grant, MSPA expects the draining and dredging of the pond to begin late this fall.  The unknown is the existing condition of the dam although inspections suggest that it should be ok.  The fund raising from this point on will determine how much of the pond can actually be dredged.   While the pond is empty, pointing and some rebuilding will occur on the three-arch bridge.  And finally, we will add landscaping both to replace fallen and diseased trees and shrubs and to create a passive recreation place on  the banks of the pond. Go to our "Donate" page to make a pledge to support this endeavor.


 To Create A Healthy Pond

Eutrophication is the technical term for what afflicts the pond.  Winter runoff and flooding rains have carried sediment and nutrients into the pond and this promotes excessive plant growth and decay, favoring simple algae and plankton over other more complicated plants, and causes a severe reduction in water quality. Enhanced growth of aquatic vegetation and algae disrupts normal functioning of the ecosystem, causing a variety of problems such as a lack of oxygen needed for fish to survive. The water becomes cloudy, typically colored a shade of green, yellow, brown, or red.

In addition to this, the pond depth has decreased as a byproduct of the added sediment.  This warms the water and further contributes to the unhealthy conditions.

The pond is also clogged with other debris.  Downed trees and limbs litter the pond edge and bottom of the pond, further enhancing the heightened nutrient levels.

The Three Arch Bridge

Built as a means to cross the Flowering Reflection Pond, the bridge carries the Main Carriage Road as it connects the Pasture Trail to the Castle Hill Trail.  Constructed of stonework, it carries a road bed of gravel.  The restoration project also includes the Three Arch Bridge.