An aerial view of the Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine FL

Star fort – fortification layout specifically designed to resist attack by cannon. The structure is composed of many triangular bastions, specifically designed to cover each other, and a ditch. In order to counteract the cannon balls, defensive walls were made low and thick.

Castillo de San Marcos, in Saint Augustine, FL – the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Construction began in 1672, and lasted twenty-three years, with completion in 1695. The Castillo is a masonry star fort made of a stone called coquina, Spanish for “small shells”, made of ancient shells that have bonded together to form a type of stone similar to limestone.

Ninety Six star fort SC

Ninety Six Star Fort was an earthen fort. Today it is how it looked in 1781. The Star Fort walls were originally about 14 feet high with sand bags around the top giving it a height of about 17 feet during the battle.

Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas, Florida – massive but unfinished coastal fortress. It is the largest masonry structure in the Americas, and is composed of over 16 million bricks.

Charles Fort, Kinsale, Ireland

Charles Fort (Ireland) Located in Kinsale]], County Cork — Built in the 1670s and 1680s. A huge fort, with walls up to 6m thick and five defensive bastions around its perimeter, it was built in a star shape, a configuration that provided better defense against cannon fire than the older circular forts. This style of fort was common throughout Europe at that time and Charles Fort is one of the best remaining examples of a star-shaped fort in Europe.
Engineering ideas

  • masonry, fortification