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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Fortress Louisbourg Brick Study

 Heidi Moses

Fortress of  Louisbourg

April 21, 2005


In order to determine if there are patterns in the brick sizes used in military and domestic context at Louisbourg a study of bricks was undertaken.

There where a total of 68 bricks measured from the active collection in the Archaeology building.

Those chosen were complete or almost complete and had datable events associated with them. Of these 68 there were 37 bricks that were dated as pre-1745 in the event sequence with 18 found to be of a military context and 19 of a domestic context.

It should be noted that no brick measured was a true rectangle. Visually it appeared to the eye that the width, thickness and length for most of the bricks were equal but in reality they taper in all 3 measuring distances.

Measurement of maximum length, width and thickness were taken.

Placement within length ranges of +/- 1/4" were the used to separate bricks into sizes. Clay colour though noted, was not taken into consideration as placement of firing within the kiln changes colours from orange to red to black red or combinations of the same. It should also be noted that the sizes indicated in historical brick measurements include the amount of mortar that would be used in the joint. This could vary from 3/8" to over ½".

This study is in no way complete nor can it be taken as proof of required sizes for reproduction but rather, as a guideline to what sizes can be interpreted from the available materials and measurements.

The Report

The detailed report is titled "Brick Study at Fortress Louisbourg, (April 21, 2005). Click here to download it in PDF format