street names

Rue du Barry

Lunas

Who, or what, was “Barry”?


This street is not only very pretty but it also has a very long history.  The street is mentioned in the early 17th century tax records of Lunas but the name is likely to date back much further, perhaps to the early medieval period or even further back still.  


“Barry”, or with its alternative spelling of “Barri”, is a common Occitanie place name that refers to a town’s ramparts or walls or, alternatively, suburbs just outside the town’s walls.  Was there at one time a wall around the old castle of Le Redondel?  Or does the name refer to the cliffs behind the street that would have served as part of the defences of the castle?  


The word Barri is derived from an Arabic word for “exterior”.  Might this street name date back to the Arab occupation of Occitan in the 8th century?


https://www.laveissiere.fr/toponymie-et-anthroponymie_fr.html

LaReine.d.L

Rue de la Calade

Saint Martin d'Orb

A Roman road?


Excavations in the cellars of houses 1147 and 1156 have revealed traces of an two old streets which presumably join together. At the northern end it is 30 cm below the current ground level but at the southern end it is more than a meter.


From when might this road date?

LeKiwi

Rue de la Saute

Saint Martin d'Orb

Have you ever wondered who jumped over what? 


In fact, I think the name refers to a now forgotten waterway, the remnants of which can still be seen crossing under the Chemin de Saint-Martin just below Saint Martin village. In the 17th century compoix there are references to a “ruisseau de la Sautre” just west of “le chemin qui va de St Martin à Bousquet”.

LeKiwi

Chemin de la Prade

Caunus

A “prade” was a field for grazing, hence the path from the field. In the 19th century Napoleonic maps this street was the only one in the local area (that I can see) to be named. It was called “Rue de la Calade”. 


What a pity that such an old name was changed!

LeKiwi

Place du Porche

Boubals

A “porche” seems to be a bridge over a small street containing rooms sometimes, as in this case, on several levels. Did they always have rooms or originally might they have been just terraces, does anyone know? 


There is also a Rue du Porche in the old part of Le Bousquet.

LeKiwi

Rue de l'Orphéon

Saint Martin d'Orb

Where does this name come from? Wikipedia tells us that Orphéon choral choirs were all the rage in the 19th century. One can imagine a choir, possible made up of local coalminers, practising in the small alleyway. The acoustics would have been excellent!


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orph%C3%A9on

LeKiwi

Rue du Pont Dourdou

Lunas

This street goes from a bridge over the Gravezon to a bridge over Ruisseau de Saint-George. The compoix of 1671 talks of the valley and the stream of Doudou. 


Was the Saint-George river originally known as the Dourdou?

LeKiwi

Impasse de la Calade

Saint Martin d'Orb

Nowadays the Impasse has only a small handful of residents but in 1906, when Le Bousquet coalmining was at its height, 50 people lived there from 23 families living in its eleven often very small buildings. Some of these residents were from Spain, Italy and Germany – all no doubt lured by the prospect of well-paying work in the mines.

LeKiwi

Rue de la Calade

Saint Martin d'Orb

What is a “calade”?


“Calade” is an Occitanie term for an area paved with river stones. It may be a street, courtyard or stable floor. Sometimes, and it seems in this case, a calade was a donkey path, a “Pas-d'âne”, up a steep slope. It was paved no doubt to prevent erosion but also with steps designed to suit a donkey’s gait. Therefore, they had steps 16-17 cm high which were spaced in multiples of 60 cm so that the donkey did not need to break its stride and could climb each step with an alternative hoof.


Does this Calade conform with these dimensions now I wonder?


https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calade

LeKiwi