Attention is given to the mechanical properties of concrete block masonry, with respect to its compressive and tensile strength. These properties are important parameters in the in-plane lateral behaviour of masonry walls, determining their resistance and ductility. Such properties play also a central role when analytical and numerical analysis is used for simulating or predicting the behaviour of masonry structures. The influence of two selected parameters on the mechanical properties of masonry is discussed, namely the geometry of the units and the filling of the vertical joints. Results show that masonry under compression behaves as a homogeneous material and the stress-strain diagrams can be represented by a parabola similarly to what is suggested for structural concrete. In case of tensile strength, filling of vertical joints appears to influence considerably the tensile strength. The filling of the vertical joints increased the strength but lead to a more brittle behaviour.