How were European forts or castles built in overseas lands?

Oct 2017
152
Australia 🇦🇺
#12
I used to volunteer with the NPS at the Castillo de San Marcos, a stone fort the Spanish built in St. Augustine Florida. The fort is a full fledged artillery fortification on an Italian trace with four bastions, a ditch and a fine glacis and covered way.

The engineer was a Spaniard named Ignazio Daza. The fort was built of local coquina stone and skilled labor came mainly from Cuba and unskilled labor mainly by the local Indians.

Following is a link to an article on the fort I wrote for the Fortified Places website

Fortified Places > Fortresses > Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine
Do you know whether the skilled labor from Cuba were Indians or whites? & what do you mean by skilled labor?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,710
Sydney
#13
Millennium has got the gist of it
imported architects ... local material ..... local labor
we have grand houses in Sydney build with the brick ballast of ships ,
it need a fair lot of ballast to build a house , even more to build a large fort
 
Jan 2018
384
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#14
Do you know whether the skilled labor from Cuba were Indians or whites? & what do you mean by skilled labor?
By skilled labor I mean stone masons. I don't know if the masons from Cuba were Indian or Spanish but some were enslaved Blacks. A few of the local Florida Indians picked up the trade.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,710
Sydney
#16
The outremer castles were a local development by the crusaders states and military orders which later flowed back to Europe

Having always manpower problems for their forces there was the need for easily defended strong points which could be used as refuge
the Krak is outstanding , so is Beaufort
saw both castle while traveling in Lebanon ,

Both had a very intense military history up to today extensive damage done during the recent various conflicts
1563678411975.png


others didn't fare so well Askelon was build with the local inferior stone which crumbled under the fire of Mamluk catapults
 
Jan 2009
1,258
#17
Having just visited Old Sarum, I noticed that they mentioned that when the keep was rebuilt in stone, the cut stones were over from Caen, while the core of flint rubble and cement (it looked like to me) was locally produced.

So I think we are seeing a reasonable pattern that if the local industrial base wasn't equal to the more specialist work, especially in the case of early stone castles, then the cut stones were more economical or necessary to transport from elsewhere where the work could be done.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,710
Sydney
#18
it was cheaper to get the good stone from Caen by ships up the Thames estuary than to move them fifty miles by land
previous to the time of railways land transport over anything more than short distance was a luxury
 
Jan 2009
1,258
#19
it was cheaper to get the good stone from Caen by ships up the Thames estuary than to move them fifty miles by land
Well, in Sarum's case, up the Avon, I'd expect. There is also the fact that the local stone is mainly chalk, so that no doubt played a role, too.

In many other cases, if suitable stone is available nearby or even on-site, and you have the manpower and expertise to make use of it, why wouldn't you?
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,571
New Delhi, India
#20
Hoosierhiver, we should say a British fort in practically all cities of India, and a few French, Portugues, Dutch forts too. Local stone, built with local labor, mostly for defensive purposes. Most officers were not accompanied by families. That came later when they lived as representatives of the Empire in Residencies in native states outside the forts.