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History of Early American Landscape Design

Ephraim Chambers

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  • 1741–43, Cyclopaedia (1:n.p.) [1]
"ALLEY, * in gardening, a strait parallel walk, bordered or bounded on each hand with trees, shrubs, or the like. See GARDEN, WALK, EDGING, &tc.
"* The word ''alley'' is derived from the French word aller, to go; the ordinary use of an ''alley'' being for a walk, passage, or thorowfare from one place to another.
"''Alleys'' are usually laid either with grass or gravel. See GRASS, and GRAVEL-Walk.
"An Alley is distinguished from a path, in this; that in an alley there must always be room enough for two persons at least to walk abreast; so that it must be never less than five feet in breadth; and there are some who hold that it ought never to have more than fifteen.
"Counter-ALLEYS, are the little alleys by the sides of the great ones.
"Front-ALLEY, is that which runs strait in the face of a building.
"Transverse ALLEY, that which cuts the former at right angles.
"Diagonal ALLEY, that which cuts a square, thicket, parterre, &c. from angle to angle.
"Sloping ALLEY, is that which either by reason of the slowness of the point of sight, or of the ground, is neither parallel to the front, nor to the transverse alleys.
"ALLEYS in Ziczac, is that which has too great a descent, and which, on that account, is liable to be damaged by floods; to prevent the ill effects whereof, it has platbands of turf run across it from space to space, which help to keep up the gravel. This last name is likewise given to an alley in a labyrinth, or wilderness, formed by several returns of angles, in order to render it the more solitary and obscure, and to hide its exit.
"ALLEY in Perspective, is that which is larger at the entrance than at the exit; to give it a great appearance of length.
"ALLEY of Compartiment, is that which separates the squares of a parterre. . . .
"[vol. 2] QUINCUNX is chiefly used in gardening, for a plantation of trees, disposed originally in a square; consisting of five trees, one at each corner, and a fifth in the middle; which disposition repeated again and again, forms a regular grove, wood, or wilderness, and then viewed by an angle of the square, or parallelogram, presents equal and parallel alleys. . . .
"WALKS, in gardening, See the article ALLEYS."

Chambers, Ephraim, 1741–43, Cyclopaedia (1:n.p.) “ARBOUR, among gardeners, &c. a kind of shady bower or cabinet, contrived to take the air in; yet keep out the sun and rain. See GARDEN. “Arbours are now gone much into disuse; being apt to be damp, and unwholesome.— They are distinguished into natural and artificial. “Natural ARBOURS, are formed only of the branches of trees, interwoven artfully, and borne up by strong lattice-work, poles, hoops, &c. which make galleries, halls, porticoes, and green vista’s naturally covered. “The trees wherewith these arbours are formed, are usually the female elm, or Dutch lime-tree; in regard they easily yield, and by their great quantity of small boughs, form a thick brush-wood: the lower parts are filled up with horn-beam. “Artificial ARBOURS, and cabinets, are made of lattice-work, borne up by standards, cross-rails, circles and arches of iron. For which purpose they make use of small fillets of oak, which being planted and made strait, are wrought in checkers, and fastened with wire.”



  1. Chambers, Ephraim. 1741–43. Cyclopaedia, or An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences. . . . 2 vols. London: D. Midwinter et al. view on Zotero

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History of Early American Landscape Design contributors, "Ephraim Chambers," History of Early American Landscape Design, , https://heald.nga.gov/mediawiki/index.php?title=Ephraim_Chambers&oldid=4805 (accessed October 15, 2021).

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