This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Every traveller through England must have been struck by the effect produced upon its rural scenery, not only by the entrances to the more extensive parks of the nobility, but also by the numerous gateways and lodges which are found to almost every country house, and to the small pleasure grounds even of the suburban villas. Few, if any, appendages to a residence, which has only a limited extent of ground surrounding it, add so much elegance to its general appearance, or importance to its character, as does an entrance suitable to its position and extent. We say suitable, because much as the stately entrance arch, and its accompanying lodge, gives dignity to the mansion of the millionaire, a far less structure satisfies the requirements of the villa.
Whatever may be the beauty of pleasure grounds or the magnificence of the park, however diversified the ground, or varied the scenery of the landscape, unless the attention be arrested by a judicious entrance way, half the effect which the whole is calculated to produce, is lost. On the contrary, when upon drawing near a country seat, the eye is gratified by the elegance of the entrance gateway, proportioned to extent, and appropriate in structure to the principal edifice, an indication of refinement is conveyed to the mind, and we prepare ourselves, imperceptibly, to admire the beauties and embellishments which we expect to follow the fitness of the approach.
Take a few acres of our native wilds, where the undulation of surface admits readily of the production of diversified effect; cut down a few trees, leaving a group here, and there a noble denisen of the forest, to challenge the attention of the observer; then surround your domain with a fence, and place a good entrance gateway to the whole, and you have converted in a few hours, a wilderness into a garden, and taught the savage a lesson of civilization!
We have been gratified to see that this truth appears daily to become more and more noted around us. In the vicinity of New-York, and other parts of the country, we have observed many an edifice of the nature alluded to springing up, and with the view to foster so 'desirable and well directed a taste, we have presented our readers with an engraving in the present number, taken from an entrance gateway which has long been in high esteem with the landscape gardeners of England.
This arch is one which is adapted to grounds of considerable extent, and the mansion to which it belongs bears an architectural character in accordance with its general features.
It must be borne in mind, that the style of architecture of the principal edifice, and its size, must form the guide upon which the fitness of the entrance is determined upon. Nor is the position of less importance than the style. Whether it be a simple gate, an arch, or lodge, or a combination of more than one of these, the position of it should rarely, if ever, be parallel to the road of approach. A greater or less angle, the exact proportion of which should be regulated by the general features of the ground, will set off to much more advantage the pretension of the entrance, than will be practicable if it is erected on a line with the road. It should always be placed a few feet, and often some yards from the side of the road, and, if possible, in the immediate vicinity of a few trees, whose age and grateful shade, may add both dignity and beauty to the new erection.