Garden Bridge or Boat House
This design for a decorative garden bridge is meant as a means of approaching an island situated on a lake at the extremity of an estate, answering the double purpose of a bridge and boat house, and also a shelter from rain. The platform is enclosed by a parapet railing on one side for safety, but is open on the other for the convenience of taking boat, and for landing on return.
It will be seen that this building is not meant for the complete protection of the boat, even during the summer months, much less against the inclemencies of the winter season; but it is adequate shelter from the sun and rain at its moorings during the day, when it is in readiness; and from this bridge it is easily and safely entered, as its side comes in immediate contact with the foot-path. The making of this building is very simple, the materials of which it is composed may be of unwrought timbers: the supports being the trunks of unbarked trees, the arch of their tapered branches, and the walling of cleft logs, built in the manner of the rough walling of the Romans. The roof is of thatch, and the flooring of iron, covered by gravel, in continuation of the walk. As the garden at this place would correctly change its character to the wilder accompa- niments of the lake, this building would assimilate with the scenery, and please by its garden effect, well contrasting with the more elegant and polished objects of other parts of the plantations.
Some extensive estates that have been much improved, still allow opportunity of combining the effect of the river and the lake; indeed, it is to be lamented that the former only has been chiefly introduced when the latter so beautifully and consistently may have assisted as its companion. The lake, in extensive grounds, is a very beautiful feature, and correctly contrasts those scenes which admit the appearances of cultivation by art.