Star Pond Restoration

We are excited to be undertaking the restoration of the Star Pond, returning it to its former glory and enhancing the natural environment and biodiversity in the park and wider landscape.

Find out more and keep up with progress below.

Star pond restoration, historic map

Interpretation and Press Release

The project is now well under way. Read our official press release here.

You can also find out more on our information boards located around the Pond and on the link below.

star pond Boughton House

Fish Passage

When complete the Star Pond will incorporate a fish/aquatic passage, allowing movement through the pond.

The first step in this process was carefully moving the existing fish to a safe temporary home.

Flood Water Inlets

A central part of the project is to help alleviate flooding downstream. To do this, water inlets are being created for excess water.

These areas should also create a welcoming habitat for wildlife

21 June - Historic Apron Uncovered

A few weeks ago we hit an exciting milestone moment on the project – when the historic apron, surrounding the pond, was revealed! A glimpse into the historic past of the Star Pond.

28 June - Old vs New!

The team recently unearthed this historic elm drainage outlet (left two pictures). It is likely to have been installed at the same time as the canals were formed!
At the same time, work has been forging on with the new fish passage, which will let fish move freely.
Feature Wall Progress

24 July - Feature Wall Progress

Throughout July, more work has been ongoing to restore Star Pond.

The progression of work on the Feature Wall footing, has allowed the next stage of installing the oak boarding to begin.

You can now start to see how the oak boarding is beginning to really take shape.

July - Progress Footage

A great example of the progress of Star Pond which demonstrates the scale and complexity of the restoration.

1 August - Original Valve Discovery

Recent restoration work resulted in the discovery of the original water control valve for Star Pond, dated back to the 1700s. The valve would have been responsible for controlling water flow and part of the larger plumbing system feeding water to the fountains.

David Cullum, Parks and Gardens Manager at Boughton unearthed the valve: “I was so pleased to have found the valve buried in a heap of soil that had to be removed during excavation, I recognised its function immediately having read historic information that outlines how the water systems used to work.”

The plumber believed to be responsible for Star Pond’s original work is that of John Belcher. Suggested to have started work for the Duke in 1687, his son and namesake also worked beside him. Due to Belcher’s son not being fully paid until 1723 however, it would be inclined that Belcher the elder, most likely did the original Cascade plumbing himself in 1702-1708.

“The valve accompanied by timber pipes that we have recovered gives a real insight in to how the Estate team would have originally tackled the challenges of moving water and creating formal fountains” – D. Cullum


Great Basins Progress

17 August - Stone for Grand Basins

Huge blocks of stone arrive at Boughton to be carved into the Grand Basins at the Star Pond. The process sees the Stonemason carve the Basins the same way as they would have done when the feature was first created.

Progress shows of the fine craftmanship to transform the mounds of stone into incredible, features of art.

31 August - Grand Basins Progress

Bottoms up! The underside of the Grand Basins are now being curved and are certainly showing great progress thanks to the skilled craftmanship of the stonemasons on site.

4 September - River Off-Take Structure

The River off-take structure is lowered into position at Star Pond. This structure will allow aquatic life to reconnect from the river, via the fish pass, to the canals, doing so for the first time in circa 300 years!

15 September - Stone Work Progress

The cascade structure of the Star Pond has been getting some attention and is starting to take shape.

Further stone work is coming along to perfect not only the structure of the pond, but also ensure an exquisite appearance.

Grand basins being lowered into position

2 October - Grand Basins into Position

A momentous occasion for the Star Pond as the first Grand Basins are lowered into position. Meticulously carved and crafted by the Stone Masonry Team, the Basins take their righteous place overlooking the pond.

With two out of six Basins in place and more to be positioned in due course, progress on the Star Pond is looking superb.

Grand Basins

19 October - Scaffolding Removed

The scaffolding surrounding the feature wall has been taken down, allowing the Grand Basins to be revealed. The incredible skills of the stonemasonry team can now be seen as the basins take their righteous place upon the feature wall.

Star Pond flooded with water from Storm Babet

21 October - Storm Babet

An unexpected (and unwelcome) stress test was carried out on the Star Pond by mother nature, as Storm Babet battered much of the UK.

Star Pond and its recently restored structures were tested to their limits as Boughton staff nervously watched on as the the water levels heightened immensely across the Estate.

The original Star Pond wall was lost to a storm in the 18th century, however with great relief to all – history did not repeat itself and Star Pond held up well as water levels returned to normal.

22 November - Balusters Arrive

Nearing the completion of the Star Pond restoration, the finishing touches are in sight as the Balusters arrive on site.

Positioned along the top of the feature wall, the balusters help to accentuate the grandeur of the pond. The end is in sight!

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