Brickwork is masonry produced by a bricklayer, using bricks and mortar. Typically, rows of bricks—called courses[1][2] are laid on top of one another to build up a structure such as a brick wall.

Bricks may be differentiated from blocks by size. For example, in the UK a brick is defined as a unit having dimensions less than 337.5x225x112.5mm and a block is defined as a unit having one or more dimensions greater than the largest possible brick.[3]

Brick is a popular medium for constructing buildings, and examples of brickwork are found through history as far back as the Bronze Age. The fired-brick faces of the ziggurat of ancient Dur-Kurigalzu in Iraq date from around 1400 BC, and the brick buildings of ancient Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan were built around 2600 BC. Much older examples of brickwork made with dried (but not fired) bricks may be found in such ancient locations as Jericho in Judea, Çatal Hüyük in Anatolia, and Mehrgarh in Pakistan. These structures have survived from the Stone Age to the present day.

Coordinating dimensions
Co-ordination dimensions of a brick in a wall
Brick laying 2
Working dimensions of a brick in a wall

Brick dimensions are expressed in construction or technical documents in two ways as co-ordinating dimensions and working dimensions.

  • Coordination dimensions are the actual physical dimensions of the brick with the mortar required on one header face, one stretcher face and one bed.
  • Working dimensions is the size of a manufactured brick. It is also called the nominal size of a brick.

Brick size may be slightly different due to shrinkage or distortion due to firing etc.

An example of a co-ordinating metric commonly used for bricks in the UK is as follows:[4][5][6]

  • Bricks of dimensions 215 mm × 102.5 mm × 65 mm;
  • Mortar beds and perpends of a uniform 10 mm.

In this case the co-ordinating metric works because the length of a single brick (215 mm) is equal to the total of the width of a brick (102.5 mm) plus a perpend (10 mm) plus the width of a second brick (102.5 mm).

There are many other brick sizes worldwide, and many of them use this same co-ordinating principle.

Hampton stacks
Decorative Tudor brick chimneys, Hampton Court Palace, UK
Twelfth-century temple brickwork, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Courtyard 2, yemen
Courtyard 2, Yemen
John Young's polychromatic brickwork - an example
Polychromatic and indented brickwork in a Mid-Victorian terrace in West London


Faces of brick
Faces of brick

As the most common bricks are cuboids, six surfaces are named as followed:

  • Top and bottom surfaces are called Beds
  • Ends or narrow surfaces are called Headers or header faces
  • Sides or wider surfaces are called Stretchers or stretcher faces[7]
Brick terminology
Mortar terminology- showing perpends and bed.

Mortar placed between bricks is also given separate names with respect to their position. Mortar placed horizontally below or top of a brick is called a bed, and mortar Placed vertically between bricks is called a perpend.

Single brick
Solid brick
Single frogged brick
Single frogged brick
Double frogged
Double frogged brick
Cellular brick
Cellular brick
Perforated brick 2
Perforated brick

A brick made with just rectilinear dimensions is called a solid brick. Bricks might have a depression on both beds or on a single bed. The depression is called a frog, and the bricks are known as frogged bricks. Frogs can be deep or shallow but should never exceed 20% of the total volume of the brick. Cellular bricks have depressions exceeding 20% of the volume of the brick. Perforated bricks have holes through the brick from bed to bed, cutting it all the way. Most of the building standards and good construction practices recommend the volume of holes should not exceeding 20% of the total volume of the brick.[8]

Parts of brickwork include bricks, beds and perpends. The bed is the mortar upon which a brick is laid.[9] A perpend is a vertical joint between any two bricks and is usually—but not always—filled with mortar.[10]


Six positions

A brick is given a classification based on how it is laid, and how the exposed face is oriented relative to the face of the finished wall.

Stretcher or stretching brick
A brick laid flat with its long narrow side exposed.[11]
Header or heading brick
A brick laid flat with its width exposed.[11]
A brick laid vertically with its long narrow side exposed.[12]
A brick laid vertically with the broad face of the brick exposed.[13]
A brick laid on the long narrow side with the short end of the brick exposed.[14]
Shiner or rowlock stretcher
A brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad face of the brick exposed.[15]


The practice of laying uncut full-sized bricks wherever possible gives brickwork its maximum possible strength. In the diagrams below, such uncut full-sized bricks are coloured as follows:


Occasionally though a brick must be cut to fit a given space, or to be the right shape for fulfilling some particular purpose such as generating an offset—called a lap—at the beginning of a course.[16] In some cases these special shapes or sizes are manufactured. In the diagrams below, some of the cuts most commonly used for generating a lap are coloured as follows:

  Three-quarter bat, stretching
A brick cut to three-quarters of its length, and laid flat with its long, narrow side exposed.
  Three-quarter bat, heading
A brick cut to three-quarters of its length, and laid flat with its short side exposed.
  Half bat
A brick cut in half across its length, and laid flat.
  Queen closer
A brick cut in half down its width, and laid with its smallest face exposed and standing vertically. A queen closer is often used for the purpose of creating a lap.[17]

Less frequently used cuts are all coloured as follows:

  Quarter bat
A brick cut to a quarter of its length.
  Three-quarter queen closer
A queen closer cut to three-quarters of its length.
  King closer
A brick with one corner cut away, leaving one header face at half its standard width.[18]


A nearly universal rule in brickwork is that perpends should not be contiguous across courses.[19]

Walls, running linearly and extending upwards, can be of varying depth or thickness. Typically, the bricks are laid also running linearly and extending upwards, forming wythes or leafs. It is as important as with the perpends to bond these leaves together. Historically, the dominant method for consolidating the leaves together was to lay bricks across them, rather than running linearly.

Brickwork observing either or both of these two conventions is described as being laid in one or another bond.[20][21]

Thickness (and leaves)

A leaf is as thick as the width of one brick, but a wall is said to be one brick thick if it as wide as the length of a brick. Accordingly, a single-leaf wall is a half brick thickness; a wall with the simplest possible masonry transverse bond is said to be one brick thick, and so on.[22]

The thickness specified for a wall is determined by such factors as damp proofing considerations, whether or not the wall has a cavity, load-bearing requirements, expense, and the era during which the architect was or is working.[23][24] Wall thickness specification has proven considerably various, and while some non-load-bearing brick walls may be as little as half a brick thick, or even less when shiners are laid stretcher bond in partition walls, others brick walls are much thicker. The Monadnock Building in Chicago, for example, is a very tall masonry building, and has load-bearing brick walls nearly two metres thick at the base.[25] The majority of brick walls are however usually between one and three bricks thick. At these more modest wall thicknesses, distinct patterns have emerged allowing for a structurally sound layout of bricks internal to each particular specified thickness of wall.

Cavity walls and ties

The advent during the mid twentieth century of the cavity wall saw the popularisation and development of another method of strengthening brickwork—the wall tie. A cavity wall comprises two totally discrete walls, separated by an air gap, which serves both as barrier to moisture and heat.[26][27] Typically the main loads taken by the foundations are carried there by the inner leaf, and the major functions of the external leaf are to protect the whole from weather, and to provide a fitting aesthetic finish.

Despite there being no masonry connection between the leaves, their transverse rigidity still needs to be guaranteed.[28] The device used to satisfy this need is the insertion at regular intervals of wall ties into the cavity wall's mortar beds.[29][30]

Load-bearing bonds

Courses of mixed headers and stretchers

Brickwork in flemish bond
Flemish bond
Brickwork in monk bond
Monk bond
Brickwork in sussex bond
Sussex bond

Flemish bond

Brickwork in Flemish Bond
Brickwork in Flemish Bond

This bond has one stretcher between headers, with the headers centred over the stretchers in the courses below.[31]

Where a course begins with a quoin stretcher, the course will ordinarily terminate with a quoin stretcher at the other end. The next course up will begin with a quoin header. For the course's second brick, a queen closer is laid, generating the lap of the bond. The third brick along is a stretcher, and is—on account of the lap—centred above the header below. This second course then resumes its paired run of stretcher and header, until the final pair is reached, whereupon a second and final queen closer is inserted as the penultimate brick, mirroring the arrangement at the beginning of the course, and duly closing the bond.

Some examples of Flemish bond incorporate stretchers of one colour and headers of another. This effect is commonly a product of treating the header face of the heading bricks while the bricks are being baked as part of the manufacturing process. Some of the header faces are exposed to wood smoke, generating a grey-blue colour, while other simply vitrified until they reach a deeper blue colour. Some headers have a glazed face, caused by using salt in the firing. Sometimes Staffordshire Blue bricks are used for the heading bricks.[32][33]

Brickwork that appears as Flemish bond from both the front and the rear is double Flemish bond, so called on account of the front and rear duplication of the pattern. If the wall is arranged such that the bricks at the rear do not have this pattern, then the brickwork is said to be single Flemish bond.[34]

Flemish bond brickwork with a thickness of one brick is the repeating pattern of a stretcher laid immediately to the rear of the face stretcher, and then next along the course, a header. A lap (correct overlap) is generated by a queen closer on every alternate course:

Double Flemish bond of one brick's thickness: overhead sections of alternate (odd and even) courses, and side elevation

Brickwork dbl flem 1 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

A simple way to add some width to the wall would be to add stretching bricks at the rear, making a Single Flemish bond one and a half bricks thick:

Overhead sections of alternate (odd and even) courses of single Flemish bond of one and a half bricks' thickness

Brickwork sgl flem 1.5 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

For a double Flemish bond of one and a half bricks' thickness, facing bricks and the bricks behind the facing bricks may be laid in groups of four bricks and a half-bat. The half-bat sits at the centre of the group and the four bricks are placed about the half-bat, in a square formation. These groups are laid next to each other for the length of a course, making brickwork one and a half bricks thick.[35][36]

To preserve the bond, it is necessary to lay a three-quarter bat instead of a header following a quoin stretcher at the corner of the wall. This fact has no bearing on the appearance of the wall; the choice of brick appears to the spectator like any ordinary header:

Overhead plans of alternate (odd and even) courses of double Flemish bond of one and a half bricks' thickness

Brickwork dbl flem 1.5 thickness

For a more substantial wall, a header may be laid directly behind the face header, a further two headers laid at 90° behind the face stretcher, and then finally a stretcher laid to the rear of these two headers. This pattern generates brickwork a full two bricks thick:

Overhead sections of alternate (odd and even) courses of double Flemish bond of two bricks' thickness

Brickwork dbl flem 2 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

Overhead sections of alternate (odd and even) courses of double Flemish bond of two and a half bricks' thickness

Brickwork dbl flem 2.5 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

For a still more substantial wall, two headers may be laid directly behind the face header, a further two pairs of headers laid at 90° behind the face stretcher, and then finally a stretcher laid to the rear of these four headers. This pattern generates brickwork a full three bricks thick:

Overhead sections of alternate (odd and even) courses of double Flemish bond of three bricks' thickness

Brickwork dbl flem 3 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

Monk bond

New Malden Library 073
New Malden Library, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London.
Solna Brick wall 4-skifts munkforband
Private building, Solna, Sweden.
Pyramids in raking monk bond 020
Pyramids highlighted.

This bond has two stretchers between every header with the headers centred over the perpend between the two stretchers in the course below in the bond's most symmetric form.[37]

The great variety of monk bond patterns allow for many possible layouts at the quoins, and many possible arrangements for generating a lap. A quoin brick may be a stretcher, a three-quarter bat, or a header. Queen closers may be used next to the quoins, but the practice is not mandatory.

Monk bond may however take any of a number of arrangements for course staggering. The disposal of bricks in these often highly irregular raking patterns can be a challenging task for the bricklayer to correctly maintain while constructing a wall whose courses are partially obscured by scaffold, and interrupted by door or window openings, or other bond-disrupting obstacles. If the bricklayer frequently stops to check that bricks are correctly arranged, then masonry in a raking monk bond can be expensive to build.[38]

Occasionally, brickwork in such a raking monk bond may contain minor errors of header and stretcher alignment some of which may have been silently corrected by incorporating a compensating irregularity into the brickwork in a course further up the wall. In spite of these complexities and their associated costs, the bond has proven a common choice for constructing brickwork in the north of Europe.

Raking courses in monk bond may—for instance—be staggered in such a way as to generate the appearance of diagonal lines of stretchers. One method of achieving this effect relies on the use of a repeating sequence of courses with back-and-forth header staggering. In this grouping, a header appears at a given point in the group's first course. In the next course up, a header is offset one and a half stretcher lengths to the left of the header in the course below, and then in the third course, a header is offset one stretcher length to the right of the header in the middle course. This accented swing of headers, one and a half to the left, and one to the right, generates the appearance of lines of stretchers running from the upper left hand side of the wall down to the lower right. Such an example of a raking monk bond layout is shown in the New Malden Library, Kingston upon Thames, Greater London.

Elsewhere, raking courses in monk bond may be staggered in such a way as to generate a subtle appearance of indented pyramid-like diagonals. Such an arrangement appears in the picture here from the building in Solna, Sweden.

Many other particular adjustments of course alignment exist in monk bond, generating a variety of visual effects which differ in detail, but often having the effect of directing a viewing eye diagonally down the wall.[39]

Overhead plan for alternate courses of monk bond of one brick's thickness

Brickwork monk 1 thickness

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

Sussex bond

This bond has three stretchers between every header, with the headers centred above the midpoint of three stretchers in the course below.[40]

The bond's horizontally extended proportion suits long stretches of masonry such as garden walls or the run of brickwork over a ribbon window; conversely, the bond is less suitable for a surface occupied by many features, such as a Georgian façade. The relatively infrequent use of headers serves to make Sussex bond one of the less expensive bonds in which to build a wall, as it allows for the bricklayer to proceed rapidly with run after run of three stretchers at a time.[41]

One stretching course per heading course

Brickwork in english bond

English bond

Brickwork in english cross bond

English cross bond

Brickwork in double english cross bond

Double English cross bond

One of the two kinds of course in this family of bonds is called a stretching course, and this typically comprises nothing but stretchers at the face from quoin to quoin. The other kind of course is the heading course, and this usually consists of headers, with two queen closers—one by the quoin header at either end—to generate the bond.[42]

English bond

This bond has alternating stretching and heading courses, with the headers centred over the midpoint of the stretchers, and perpends in each alternate course aligned. Queen closers appear as the second brick, and the penultimate brick in heading courses.[43][44] A muted colour scheme for occasional headers is sometimes used in English bond to lend a subtle texture to the brickwork. Examples of such schemes include blue-grey headers among otherwise red bricks—seen in the south of England—and light brown headers in a dark brown wall, more often found in parts of the north of England.[45]

An ancient example of alternating courses of headers and stretchers, is found on Malta. The ruins of the Ggantija Temple on the island of Gozo consist of two temples and a surrounding wall dating back to the Neolithic Age (3600–250 BCE); some stones are as long as 5 meters weighing over 50 tonnes.[46][47]

Overhead plan for alternate courses of English bond of one brick's thickness

Brickwork eng 1 th

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

Overhead plan for alternate courses of English bond of one and a half bricks' thickness

Brickwork eng 1.5 th

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

Overhead plan for alternate courses of English bond of two bricks' thickness

Brickwork eng 2 th

The colour-coded plans highlight facing bricks in the east-west wall. An elevation for this east-west wall is shown to the right.

English cross bond

Dutch Bond
Dutch Bond, Linacre College, Oxford.

This bond also has alternating stretching and heading courses. However, whilst the heading courses are identical with those found in the standard English bond, the stretching courses alternate between a course composed entirely of stretchers, and a course composed of stretchers half off-set relative to the stretchers two courses above or below, by reason of a header placed just before the quoins at either end.[48][49] The bond is widely found in Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands.[50]

Large areas of English cross bond can appear to have a twill like characteristic, an effect caused by the unbroken series of perpends moving diagonally down the bond.

Dutch bond

This bond is exactly like English cross bond except in the generating of the lap at the quoins. In Dutch bond, all quoins are three-quarter bats—placed in alternately stretching and heading orientation with successive courses—and no use whatever is made of queen closers.[51] To the Dutch this is simply a variant of what they call a cross bond.[52]

Two or more stretching course per heading course

Brickwork in english garden wall bond rake

A raking English garden wall bond

Brickwork in scottish bond

Scottish bond

Brickwork in american bond

American bond

English garden wall bond

This bond has three courses of stretchers between every course of headers.[53]

For the standard English garden wall bond, headers are used as quoins for the middle stretching course in order to generate the lap, with queen closers as the penultimate brick at either end of the heading courses. A more complex set of quoins and queen closers is necessary to achieve the lap for a raking English garden wall bond.

The heading course in English garden wall bond sometimes features bricks of a different colour to its surrounding stretchers. In English chalk districts, flint is substituted for the stretchers, and the headers constitute a lacing course.[45]

Scottish bond

This bond has five courses of stretchers between every course of headers.

The lap is generated by the use of headers as quoins for the even numbered stretching courses, counting up from the previous heading course, with queen closers as the penultimate brick at either end of the heading courses.

American, or common bond

NY-american bond
American bond, 5th Ave, Harlem, New York

This bond may have between three and nine courses of stretchers between each course of headers.

Headers are used as quoins for the even numbered stretching courses, counting up from the previous heading course, in order to achieve the necessary off-set in a standard American bond, with queen closers as the penultimate brick at either end of the heading courses.

The brick Clarke-Palmore House in Henrico County, Virginia, has a lower level built in 1819 described as being American bond of three to five stretching courses between each heading course, and an upper level built in 1855 with American bond of six to seven stretching courses between each heading course.[54]

Only stretching or heading courses

Brickwork in heading bond

Header bond

Brickwork in stretching bond

Stretcher bond

Brickwork in stretching bond rake

A raking stretcher bond

Header bond

All bricks in this bond are headers, but for the lap-generating quoin three-quarter bat which offsets each successive courses by half a header.

Header bond is often used on curving walls with a small radius of curvature. In Lewes, Sussex, England UK many small buildings are constructed in this bond, using blue coloured bricks and vitrified surfaces.[55][56]

Stretcher, or running bond

All bricks in this bond are stretchers, with the bricks in each successive course staggered by half a stretcher. Headers are used as quoins on alternating stretching courses in order to achieve the necessary off-set.

It is the simplest repeating pattern, and will create a wall only one-half brick thick. Such a thin wall is not stable enough to stand alone, and must be tied to a supporting structure. This practice is common in modern buildings, where stretcher bonded brickwork may be the outer face of a cavity wall, or the facing to a timber or steel-framed structure.[57]

Raking stretcher bond

Also consists entirely of courses of stretchers, but with the bricks in each successive course staggered in some pattern other than that of standard stretcher bond.[58]

One or more stretching courses per alternating course

Flemish stretcher bond

Brickwork in flemish stretcher bond

Flemish stretcher bond

Flemish stretcher bond separates courses of alternately laid stretchers and headers, with a number of courses of stretchers alone. Brickwork in this bond may have between one and four courses of stretchers to one course after the Flemish manner.[37][59] The courses of stretchers are often but not always staggered in a raking pattern.

Courses of mixed rowlocks and shiners

Chinese bond

Rat-trap bond

Rat-trap bond

Rat trap bond
Brick wall laid in rat-trap bond photographed near Angelsea Road, Wivenhoe, Essex, England.

Rat-trap bond (also Chinese bond) substantially observes the same pattern as Flemish bond, but consists of rowlocks and shiners instead of headers and stretchers. This gives a wall with an internal cavity bridged by the rowlocks, hence the reference to rat-traps.[60]

One shiner course per heading course

Dearne's bond

Dearne's bond substantially observes the same pattern as English bond, but uses shiners in place of stretchers.[61]

Non-load-bearing bonds

Courses of mixed shiners and sailors

Single Basket Weave bond

Single basket weave bond

Double Basket Weave bond

Double basket weave bond

90 degree Herringbone bond

90° herringbone bond

45 degree Herringbone bond

45° herringbone bond

Single basket weave bond

45° herringbone bond, Canterbury, UK

A row of single basket weave bond comprises pairs of sailors laid side-by-side, capped with a shiner, alternating with pairs of sailors laid side-by-side sat atop a shiner. Subsequent rows are identical and aligned with those above.[62]

Double basket weave bond

A row of double basket weave bond comprises pairs of shiners laid atop one another, alternating with pairs of sailors laid side-by-side. The following row is off-set so the pair of shiners sits below the pair of sailors in the row above. This results in bricks arranged in pairs in a square grid so that the join between each pair is perpendicular to the join of the four pairs around it.[58]

Herringbone bond

The herringbone pattern (opus spicatum) made by placing soldiers next to stretchers or vice versa (i.e. headers perpendicular) making 'L' shapes, nesting each L in the same order of laying. Thin bricks are more common. The pattern is usually rotated by 45° to create a completely vertical (plumb) succession of 'V' shapes. It follows either the left or right brick forms the tip of the v in any wall. Herringbone is sometimes used as infill in timber framed buildings.[58]

Brickwork built around square fractional-sized bricks

Pinwheel bond

Pinwheel bond

De la Robia bond

Della Robbia bond

Pinwheel bond

Pinwheel bond is made of four bricks surrounding a square half-brick, repeated in a square grid.[58]

Della Robbia bond

A pattern made of four bricks surrounding a square brick, one-quarter the size of a half-brick. It is designed to resemble woven cloth.[58] Another, similar pattern is called the interlacing bond.[63]


Flemish Diagonal Bond Cambridge
Flemish diagonal bond, St John's College, Cambridge
Flemish Diagonal bond

Flemish diagonal bond

Brickwork formed into a diamond pattern is called diapering.

Flemish diagonal bond

Flemish diagonal bond comprises a complex pattern of stretcher courses alternating with courses of one or two stretchers between headers, at various offsets such that over ten courses a diamond-shaped pattern appears.

Damp-proof courses

Moisture may ascend into a building from the foundation of a wall or gain ingress into a building from a wet patch of ground, where it meets a solid wall. The manifest result of this process is called damp. One of many methods of resisting such ingresses of water is to construct the wall with several low courses of dense engineering bricks such as Staffordshire blue bricks. This method of damp proofing appears as a distinctive navy blue band running around the circumference of a building. It is only partially effective, as in spite of the lower courses of brick being more moisture resistant the mortar bedding and perpends joining the bricks remain permeable.[64]

See also


  1. ^ Joseph Moxon. Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine of Handy-Works. Applied to the Arts of Smithing, Joinery, Carpentry, Turning, Bricklaying. Printed for Daniel Midwinter and Thomas Leigh. 1703. London. Page 129. "Three or four or five courses of Bricks to be laid."
  2. ^ Nicholson. "By a Course, in walling, is meant the bricks contained between two planes parallel to the horizon, and terminated by the faces of the wall. The thickness is that of one brick with mortar. The mass formed by bricks laid in concentric order, for arches or vaults, is also denominated a Course."
  3. ^ Fleming, Eric (2006). Construction Technology. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 2. ISBN 1-4051-0210-1.
  4. ^ Brunskill, p. 39. "British Standard 3921 of 1969, gave dimensions of 215 mm by 102.5 mm by 65 mm [...]."
  5. ^ British Standards Institution. Specification for Masonry Units. Part 1: Clay Masonry Units. BSI, London, 2003, BS EN 771.
  6. ^ The Compressive Strength of Modern Earth Masonry, Andrew Heath, Mike Lawrence, Peter Walker and Clyde Fourie. BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath and Natural Building Technologies (NBT). Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Non-conventional Materials and Technologies (NOCMAT 2009). 6–9 September 2009, Bath, UK. "All earth masonry units were intended to be 'standard' brick size (215x102.5x65mm) if they were fired, but because they did not have additional shrinkage from firing, the average size was 223x106x67mm."
  7. ^ Fleming, Eric (2006). Construction Technology. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-4051-0210-1.
  8. ^ Fleming, Eric (2006). Construction Technology. UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-4051-0210-1.
  9. ^ Nicholson, p. 166. "BED.—The under-surface of bricks when laid in any kind of work."
  10. ^ Reports of artisans selected by a committee appointed by the council of the Society of Arts to visit the Paris Universal exhibition, 1867. Published for the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Published by Bell and Daldy, York Street, Covent Garden, London. Printed by W.  Trounce, Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane, London. 1867. Part 1. Bricklaying by George Howell. Page 194. "The beauty of brickwork will very much depend upon the 'perpends' being perfectly kept, that is, the perfect regularity of the perpendicular joints right up the building."
  11. ^ a b John Houghton. A Collection for Improvement of Husbandry and Trade. 1693. Issue 74. Published by Randal Taylor near Stationers-Hall. London. "A Brick-wall of a Foot and half thick is commonly made by Stretchers and Headers, that is, by laying on the out-side one Brick, so as to have the narrowest side of it to be seen longways, and the next to have only the end seen, and the Brick lying on the broad side, and so on, a Stretcher and a Header."
  12. ^ Whitney Clark Huntington. Building Construction. Types of Construction, Materials, and Cost Estimating. New York: Wiley. London: Chapman & Hall. 1929. Page 130. "Belt courses and flat arches may be formed of brick[s] set on end with the narrow side exposed. Such bricks are called soldiers."
  13. ^ Sovinski, p. 43. "Those brick positions oriented in a horizontal alignment are called stretcher, header, rowlock stretcher, and rowlock. A rowlock stretcher is sometimes called a shiner. The two corresponding vertical orientations are the soldier and sailor positions."
  14. ^ Samuel Y. Harris. Building Pathology. Wiley. New York. 2001. Page 212. "The short face, or the end laid horizontally, is a header; laid vertically, a rowlock."
  15. ^ Sovinski, p. 43. "Those brick positions oriented in a horizontal alignment are called stretcher, header, rowlock stretcher, and rowlock. A rowlock stretcher is sometimes called a shiner."
  16. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 22.
  17. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911. BRICKWORK. "[...] portions of a brick [...] a half header in width, [...] are called queen closers[.]"
  18. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 18. "King Closers are bricks cut so that one end is half the width of a brick, and [are] used in positions where the greater width at back would add strength to the bond[...]."
  19. ^ Nicholson, p. 167. "[...] an arrangement, or combination of bricks when laid upon each other, [such] that the perpendicular joint formed by any two adjacent bricks may, at all times, be covered by the centre (or nearly so) of one laid immediately over the joint, by which means the nearest approximation to solidity will be attained that such materials are capable of producing."
  20. ^ Nicholson, p. 347. "BRICKS ARE LAID in a varied, but regular, form of connection, or Bond, as exhibited in Plate LXXXV."
  21. ^ Nicholson, p. 329. "BOND.—That regular connection, in lapping the stones upon one another, when carrying up the work, which forms an inseparable mass of building."
  22. ^ CITB
    Training Workbook
    Setting Out Brickwork
    Positioning Ranging Lines, Gauge, Dry Bonding, Broken Bonding
    WB 272
    Construction Industry Training Board, Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH. 1994. ISBN 185751095X. Page 35–37. "Wall thickness terms relate to a stretcher dimension of a brick. Wall (A) [pictured] is termed a half brick wall. Wall (B) [pictured] is termed a one brick wall [...]. This wall is a half brick thick wall [...]. This wall is a one brick thick wall [...]."
  23. ^ Bricks and Brickwork. Cecil C. Handisyde and Barry A. Haseltine. The Brick Development Association. 19 Grafton Street, London, W1X 3LE. 1974. Page 68. "Old buildings of solid wall construction were accepted as 'waterproof', often when brickwork was only 9 inches thick. Now it is generally agreed that solid walls of less than [one and a half] brick thickness are inadequate. Code of Practice 121 still includes unrendered one brick thick walls as acceptable for sheltered positions but this seems a questionable recommendation. Walling of [one and a half] brick thickness should be satisfactory for sheltered positions and may be adequate for moderate exposure."
  24. ^ Emmitt, p. 206. "In exposed positions such as high ground and near the coast, a wall 2B thick may be needed to resist penetration to inside faces [...]. In positions of very severe exposure to wind-driven rain, as on high open ground facing the prevailing wind and on the coast facing open sea, it is necessary to protect both solid and cavity walls with an external cladding."
  25. ^ Fuller, Chicago Tribune, December 7, 1958.
  26. ^ Denzil Nield. Walls & Wall Facings. Spon, London. 1949. Page 145. "Cavity walls... are being increasingly built with hollow blocks or other material in place of bricks for the internal leaf."
  27. ^ New Civil Engineer. Oct 3rd, 1991. Thomas Telford Ltd. London. Advertisement. "Single leaf wall with vertical and lateral load."
  28. ^ Emmitt, p. 7
  29. ^ Emmitt, pp. 232, 233. "Early cavity walls were constructed with bonding bricks laid across the cavity at internals to tie the two leaves together. [...] Later, iron ties were used to tie the two leaves together."
  30. ^ David Yeomans. Construction Since 1900: Materials. BT Batsford Ltd, 583 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5BY. 1997. ISBN 0713466847. Page 60. "In 1974, a large section of the outer leaf of a wall of a comprehensive school at Newnham collapsed revealing a complete absence of ties over a considerable area [and] in 1983, a much larger section of a wall at Plymouth Polytechnic collapsed due to corrosion of the cavity ties."
  31. ^ Smeaton, pp. 29–30. "The two principal methods of bricklaying are severally called English and Flemish bond. [...] Flemish bond consists in placing a header and a stretcher alternately throughout every course."
  32. ^ Brunskill, pp. 57–58.
  33. ^ Arch. Review, p. 233.
  34. ^ Brunskill, p. 91. "SINGLE FLEMISH BOND: gives the appearance of Flemish Bond on the outside face only of a wall more than 9 inches thick. The same appearance on both inner and outer faces is given by DOUBLE FLEMISH BOND."
  35. ^ Nicholson, p. 102. "[...] the bricks are disposed alike on both sides of the wall, the tail of the headers being placed contiguous to each other, so as to form square spaces in the core of the wall for half-bricks."
  36. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 25, figures 37 & 38.
  37. ^ a b The Dictionary of Art. Grove. Volume Four, Biardeau TO Brüggemann. Edited by Jane Turner. Macmillan Publishers Limited. 1996. ISBN 1884446000. Page 769.
  38. ^ Arch. Review, p. 242. THE BONDING OF BRICKWORK. P.M. Stratton. "An extra cost over Flemish has to be met for labour on Monk bond and its derivatives, because the process is not so straightforward as Flemish, and the bricklayers have to stop and think more frequently."
  39. ^ Arch. Review, p. 241. THE BONDING OF BRICKWORK. P.M. Stratton. "Monk bond [...] is popular in the North of Europe. Two stretchers are followed by one header in every course, the headers being so disposed that verticality of their axial lines is little apparent, and a striking result is obtained of diagonal lines of stretchers, which look like a series of corbels or cantilevers embedded in the wall."
  40. ^ Lloyd, p. 440. "FLEMISH GARDEN WALL or SUSSEX BOND. Three stretchers, then one header in every course."
  41. ^ Arch. Review, p. 241. THE BONDING OF BRICKWORK. P.M. Stratton.
  42. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 23.
  43. ^ Smeaton, pp. 29–30. "The two principal methods of bricklaying are severally called English and Flemish bond .... English bond consists of alternating courses of headers and stretchers; thus, one course is formed with headers, that is, with bricks crossing the wall; the next with stretchers, that is, with bricks having their length in the same direction as that of the wall[.]"
  44. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 21, figures 28 & 29.
  45. ^ a b Arch. Review, p. 242. THE BONDING OF BRICKWORK. P.M. Stratton.
  46. ^ "Archived Document". Archived from the original on 2017-07-31. Retrieved 2017-07-31. (7. Ggantija In Malta)
  47. ^ "INSAP 2". Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  48. ^ Ching, Francis (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-28451-3.
  49. ^ Lloyd, p. 440. "ENGLISH CROSS BOND. Stretchers breaking joint. The second brick of alternate stretching courses is a header."
  50. ^ Brunskill, p. 50.
  51. ^ Charles F.Mitchell. Building Construction. Part 1. First Stage or Elementary Course. Second Edition—Revised. Published by B.T. Batsford, 52 High Holborn. 1889. Page 37.
  52. ^ Mulder, Koen (2016). Het Zinderend Oppervlak [The Thrilling Surface] (in Dutch) (2nd ed.). Steenwijk (published January 2016). p. 10. ISBN 978-90-824668-0-5.
  53. ^ Lloyd, p. 440. "ENGLISH GARDEN WALL BOND. Three stretching courses to each heading course."
  54. ^ Susan Reed Smither (January 29, 2004). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Clarke-Palmore House / Clarke Home" (PDF). Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-08. and Accompanying four photos at Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, undated Archived 2010-05-28 at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ Lloyd, p. 440. "HEADING BOND. All headers except a three-quarters brick at quoin in alternate courses."
  56. ^ Arch. Review, pp. 242, 245. THE BONDING OF BRICKWORK. P.M. Stratton.
  57. ^ Campbell, James W. P; Pryce, Will (2003). Brick: A World History. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 304–305 and 313. ISBN 978-0-500-34195-7.
  58. ^ a b c d e "Brick Patterns". Peter Stewart. Archived from the original on 2016-04-14.
  59. ^ Brunskill, p. 52.
  60. ^ Brunskill, p. 54.
  61. ^ Brunskill, p. 87.
  62. ^ "Boral Best Block". Archived from the original on 2012-05-31.
  63. ^ "Get It Right" (PDF). Ibstock Brick. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  64. ^ Emmitt, p. 154.


  • Brunskill, R.W. (1997). Brick Building in Britain. Wellington House, 125 Strand, London WC2R 0BB: Victor Gollancz in association with Peter Crawley. An imprint of the Cassell Group. ISBN 0575065354.
  • Emmitt, Stephen & Gorse, Christopher A. (2010). Barry's Introduction to Construction of Buildings. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 9781405188548.
  • Lloyd, Nathaniel (1925). A History of English Brickwork. The Antique Collectors' Club Ltd. ISBN 0907462367.
  • Nicholson, Peter (1823). The New Practical Builder, and Workman's Companion. Thomas Kelly, 17 Paternoster Row, London.
  • The Architectural Review. 9 Queen Anne's Gate, Westminster, S.W.1. London: The Architectural Press. May 1936.
  • Plumridge, Andrew and Meulenkamp, Wim. (1993). Brickwork: Architecture and Design. New York: Harry N Abrams.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Smeaton, A. C. (1837). The Builder's Pocket Manual; Containing the Elements of Building, Surveying and Architecture; with Practical Rules and Instructions in Carpentry, Bricklaying, Masonry &c. Barnard's Inn, Holborn: M. Taylor.
  • Sovinski, Rob W. (1999). Brick in the Landscape. A Practical Guide to Specification and Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

External links


In Iranian architecture, banna'i (Persian: بنائی‎, "builder's technique" in Persian) is an architectural decorative art in which glazed tiles are alternated with plain bricks to create geometric patterns over the surface of a wall or to spell out sacred names or pious phrases. This technique originated in Syria and Iraq in the 8th century, and matured in the Seljuq and Timurid era, as it spread to Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia.

If the brickwork design is in relief then it is referred to as hazarbaf (Persian: هزارباف‎, compound of hazar "thousand" and baf "weavings", referring to the woven appearance of the bricks).

Bishop's House, Birmingham

The Bishop's House in Birmingham, England was designed by Augustus Pugin as the residence of Thomas Walsh, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham. It was situated opposite St Chad's Cathedral, on the corner of Bath Street and Weaman Street in Birmingham City Centre.

A building of exceptional originality and adventurousness, it was Pugin's first attempt to adapt his gothic architectural style to form an urban architectural language, and it would become the most influential of all his architectural works. Its influence would be important in the development of the Ruskinian High Victorian Gothic pioneered by William Butterfield at All Saints, Margaret Street; its simple use of traditional materials saw the first emergence of the design philosophy that would later lead to Philip Webb's Red House and the origins of the Arts and Crafts Movement; and its functionalism marked the birth of the tradition of rational construction in architecture that was to dominate the modernist architecture of the 20th century.

The house was designed in late 1840, with its overall arrangement being based on the courtyard houses of northern France, but with a strikingly original internal layout, taking a spiral route from the building's front door, all the way round all four sides of the building to the great hall, which was immediately above the main entrance to the right. Its elevations were "sheer, austere and disciplined" with little decoration apart from stone dressings and small areas of patterned brickwork. Pugin emphasised the buildings functionalism, noting "that convenience has dictated the design, and that the elevation has been left in that natural irregularity produced by the internal requirements to which we owe the picturesque effect of the ancient buildings." The quality of its brickwork was unprecedented in England at the time. The house's furniture was also designed by Pugin and was based on surviving mediaeval originals from the Bishop's Palace in Wells.The house was demolished in 1959, after Birmingham City Engineer Herbert Manzoni demanded that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham pay for any alterations to the city's inner ring road scheme that would be required to avoid the building's demolition. The chimneypiece and two chairs from the Bishop's House are now held in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


A brick is building material used to make walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote any rectangular units laid in mortar. A brick can be composed of clay-bearing soil, sand, and lime, or concrete materials. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types, materials, and sizes which vary with region and time period, and are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are fired and non-fired bricks.

Block is a similar term referring to a rectangular building unit composed of similar materials, but is usually larger than a brick. Lightweight bricks (also called lightweight blocks) are made from expanded clay aggregate.

Fired bricks are one of the longest-lasting and strongest building materials, sometimes referred to as artificial stone, and have been used since circa 4000 BC. Air-dried bricks, also known as mudbricks, have a history older than fired bricks, and have an additional ingredient of a mechanical binder such as straw.

Bricks are laid in courses and numerous patterns known as bonds, collectively known as brickwork, and may be laid in various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together to make a durable structure.

Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton

Christ Church Cathedral is a heritage-listed Anglican cathedral complex at Duke Street, Grafton, Clarence Valley Council, New South Wales, Australia. The cathedral was designed by John Horbury Hunt and built from 1874 to 1884 by Reynold Brothers (brickwork) and G. J. T. Lawson (woodwork). It is also known as Cathedral Church of Christ the King and Grafton Anglican Cathedral. The property is owned by the Anglican Diocese of Grafton. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 14 March 2003.

Comilla Jagannath Temple

Comilla Jagannath Temple, also known as Sateroratna Mandir or seventeen-jewel temple, is located in Comilla, Bangladesh. It is dedicated to the Hindu God Jagannath. It dates back to the 16th century and was built by Sree Sreejoktou Moharaja Rada Kishor Manikuo Bahadur, who was the king of Tripura. The deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra were originally installed in a temple in Tripura from where they were subsequently shifted to this temple.

Jagannath Temple is one of the oldest temples of Comilla district. It is located two km south-east from Comilla town. The terracotta brickwork of the temple is in the typical Bengal style of temple architecture. The seventeen jewels are the towers that originally crowned the structure but have been damaged: eight on the first floor, eight on the second, and one more in the centre.

Course (architecture)

A course is a layer of the same unit running horizontally in a wall. It can also be defined as a continuous row of any masonry unit such as bricks, concrete masonry units (CMU), stone, shingles, tiles, etc.Coursed masonry construction is that in which units are arranged in regular courses, and not irregularly. On the other hand, coursed rubble masonry construction is that in which units of random size, that are not cut down, are used to build courses and the in-between spaces are filled with mortar or smaller stones.If a course is the horizontal arrangement, then a wythe is the vertical section of a wall.A standard 8-inch CMU block is exactly equal to three courses of brick, so that is it easy to build a brick-on-CMU wall. A bond pattern (or bonding pattern) is the arrangement of several courses. The types of bond patterns can be found under Brickwork. When building a masonry wall the corners are first built and then the spaces between them are filled by the remaining courses.

Glossary of architecture

This page is a glossary of architecture.

Hickling Mill

Hickling Mill is a 19th-century grade II* listed windmill in Hickling Heath, Norfolk, England.It was built of tarred brick in 1818 to a design known as a tower mill, a tapering circular building 8 storeys high with brickwork 30 inches (76 cm) thick at the base. Each floor has 4 windows to the four cardinal points of the compass although many are blocked up on the inside, especially on the north face. It is topped by a weatherboarded boat-shaped cap with a petticoat and fan cradle.

The mill was used for grinding wheat for flour and by the 1860s also included a bakery. Production ceased in 1904, at which time the sails and fantail were removed.After several changes of ownership the mill in 1934 came into the ownership of the Forbes family, who carried out major cap renovation in 1989. Otherwise Hickling Mill is one of the few windmills in the country to have been preserved in a largely unrestored condition. It still contains almost a complete set of main machinery and many of the original timber fittings and three sets of millstones.

List of lakes in Arkansas

There are at least 2340 named lakes and reservoirs in Arkansas. The following list contains lists of lakes and reservoirs in Arkansas by county.

A lake is a terrain feature (or physical feature), a body of liquid on the surface of a world that is localized to the bottom of basin (another type of landform or terrain feature; that is not global). Another definition is a body of fresh or salt water of considerable size that is surrounded by land. On Earth a body of water is considered a lake when it is inland, not part of the ocean, is larger and deeper than a pond.A reservoir (etymology from French réservoir a "storehouse ) is an artificial lake used to store water. Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such a brickwork or cast concrete.

Metheringham Windmill

Metheringham Windmill, locally known as The Old Meg Flour Mill, was a six-storeyed, six-sailed, and tarred slender Lincolnshire type windmill with the typical white onion-shaped cap with fantail, built in 1867 to be used to grind flour from grain. Located on a paddock at the eponymous village in North Kesteven south of Lincoln it is one of the many tall brick-tower mills of Lincolnshire with stage, now disused.

The mill was equipped with a complete iron gear, six Sutton patent sails which drove her four pairs of millstones, and a mill house nearby, but was never prosperous. She later lost up to four of her sails, which were not replaced. The remaining sails were juggled around for balance. Having started with 6 sails, she later ran with four, then two, and finally with three, finishing her sixty years of work around 1930. Until 1942, the mill could be viewed with its unique three sails design.

In the following years the remaining sails went, and after 1961 cap and windshaft followed. The tar coating is now wearing off the tower, giving a free view of the unusual banding in her brickwork of 205 courses. Remains of the iron stage can still be found on the mill on the second floor (third floor all in all), but in a bad condition because of the damage done by sail crashes.

There is no public right of access to the mill, so any remains of machinery inside the mill can't be examined.

Opus spicatum

Opus spicatum, literally "spiked work," is a type of masonry construction used in Roman and medieval times. It consists of bricks, tiles or cut stone laid in a herringbone pattern.


Polychrome is the "practice of decorating architectural elements, sculpture, etc., in a variety of colors." The term is used to refer to certain styles of architecture, pottery or sculpture in multiple colors.

Polychrome brickwork

Polychrome brickwork is a style of architectural brickwork which emerged in the 1860s as a feature of gothic revival architecture, wherein bricks of different colours (typically brown, cream and red) were used in patterned combination to highlight architectural features. It was often used to replicate the effect of quoining and also decorate around windows. Early examples featured banding, with later examples exhibiting complex diagonal, criss-cross and step patterns, in some cases even writing using bricks.

Queen Anne style architecture

The Queen Anne style in Britain refers to either the English Baroque architectural style approximately of the reign of Queen Anne (reigned 1702–1714), or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century (when it is also known as Queen Anne revival). In British architecture the term is mostly used of domestic buildings up to the size of a manor house, and usually designed elegantly but simply by local builders or architects, rather than the grand palaces of noble magnates. Contrary to the American usage of the term, it is characterised by strongly bilateral symmetry with an Italianate or Palladian-derived pediment on the front formal elevation.

The architectural historian Marcus Binney, writing in The Times in 2006, describes Poulton House built in 1706, during the reign of Queen Anne, as "...Queen Anne at its most delightful". Binney lists what he describes as the typical features of the style:

a sweep of steps leading to a carved stone door-case

rows of painted sash windows in boxes set flush with the brickwork

stone quoins emphasizing corners

a central triangular pediment set against a hipped roof with dormers

typically box-like "double pile" plans, two rooms deepWhen used of revived "Queen Anne style" of the 19th and 20th century the historic reference in the name should not be taken too literally, as buildings in the Queen Anne style often bear as little resemblance to English buildings of the 18th century as those of any revival style to the original. Furthermore, the Queen Anne style in other parts of the English-speaking world, particularly in the United States and Australia, is significantly different from that in the United Kingdom, and may hardly include any elements typical of the actual architecture of Anne's reign.


Quoins ( or ) are masonry blocks at the corner of a wall. They exist in some cases to provide actual strength for a wall made with inferior stone or rubble and in other cases to make a feature of a corner, giving an impression of permanence and strength, and reinforcing the onlooker's sense of a structure's presence.Stone quoins are used on stone or brick buildings. Brick quoins may appear on brick buildings, extruding from the facing brickwork in such a way as to give the appearance of uniformly cut blocks of stone larger than the bricks. Where quoins are used for decoration and not for load-bearing, they may be made from a wider variety of materials beyond brick, stone or concrete, extending to timber, cement render or other stucco.

Rice Hall (Ithaca, New York)

Rice Hall is a building on the Cornell University campus that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.It is a three-story rectangular building. Its first floor is built with rusticated brick imitating clapboards, and has coursed brickwork above. It has a slate roof.Its eligibility for LEEDS certification is under review.

Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta

The Shah Jahan Mosque (Urdu: شاہ جہاں مسجد‎), also known as the Jamia Masjid of Thatta (Urdu: جامع مسجد ٹھٹہ‎), is a 17th-century building that serves as the central mosque for the city of Thatta, in the Pakistani province of Sindh. The mosque is considered to have the most elaborate display of tile work in South Asia, and is also notable for its geometric brick work - a decorative element that is unusual for Mughal-period mosques. It was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who bestowed it to the city as a token of gratitude, and is heavily influenced by Central Asian architecture - a reflection of Shah Jahan's campaigns near Samarkand shortly before the mosque was designed.

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse (Persian: حمام سلطان امیر احمد‎, translit. Hammam-e Sultan Amir Ahmad), also known as the Qasemi Bathhouse, is a traditional Iranian public bathhouse in Kashan, Iran. It was constructed in the 16th century, during the Safavid era; however, the bathhouse was damaged in 1778 as a result of an earthquake and was renovated during the Qajar era. The bathhouse is named after Imamzadeh Sultan Amir Ahmad, whose mausoleum is nearby.

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, with an area of around 1000 square meters, consists of two main parts: the sarbineh (dressing hall) and garmkhaneh (hot bathing hall). The sarbineh is a large octagonal hall and has an octagonal pool in the middle, separated by 8 pillars from the outer section. There are four pillars in the garmkhaneh, which make smaller bathing rooms all around as well as the entrance section to the khazineh (final bathing room) in the middle. The interior of the bathhouse is decorated with turquoise and gold tilework, plasterwork, brickwork, as well as artistic paintings. The roof of the bathhouse is made of multiple domes that contain convex glasses to provide sufficient lighting to the bathhouse while concealing it from the outside.


Tuckpointing is a way of using two contrasting colours of mortar in the mortar joints of brickwork, one colour matching the bricks themselves, to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made. In some parts of the United States and Canada, some confusion may result as the term is often used interchangeably with pointing (to correct defects or finish off joints in newly laid masonry) and repointing (to place wet mortar into cut or raked joints to repair weathered joints in old masonry).


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