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Photograph No. 21

Remains of a slipway, Port du Baril in Saint-Philippe, 2018



Historical and technical data


The site of the port of Baril is located at the south-eastern tip of Reunion Island in the municipal territory of Saint-Philippe on the so-called windward coast below the National Road 2 of Baril, more precisely in the extension from the road to the port of Baril. 
The first testimony consulted in the departmental archives of Reunion refers to the session of the private council of November 2, 1830 which granted official authorization for the opening of a landing stage at the port of Baril to Mr. Montbel Fontaine (who is actually called Jacques Antoine Siméon Fontaine du Rempart, Sources: (Ricquebourg) genealogical dictionary  de Camille Ricquebourg page 911)
In their arguments, the members of the Privy Council explain the reasons for this favorable opinion. 

J17076-2_LE 52 -2- Copy.jpg

Figure 1: General plan of the slipway
Plan drawn up by P. Brial

  Computer graphics E. Venner by Bernardy de Sigoyer and C. Venner by Bernardy de Sigoyer

The website


The underwater archaeological prospecting operation referenced OA: 3285 revealed the remains of a slipway.

The structural arrangement is dug into the basalt rock. It presents on the surface an inclined plane oriented East North-East. This wedge presents on plan a rectangular trapezium figure which measures approximately 10 m in length by 8.75 m in width (measurements taken at the bottom of the wedge in the area close to the outcrop) and forming an angle of 90°. The space extends continuously at 337° North-North-West to reach the launching ramp. At the top of the hold is a low wall.
The remains of this low wall are about 10 m from the coast line. It marks the termination at 247.5° West South-West of the slipway between the rock matrices. It is an elevated structure with irregular facing. It is partially destroyed. 

This elongated masonry is made up of blocks of basalt stone rubble type of large, medium and small modules assembled together using a mortar based on cement and sand. Shards of basalt with visible facings are interspersed in places. 

Its observed length measures about 9 m over a width that varies between 0.46 m and 0.73 m. The highest part of the elevation measures 0.70m. The stones have joints with a width that varies between 1 and 3 cm.

At the back of this low wall, the representation of a head is carved into the volcanic rock. The face is more or less vertical. It has a circumference of about 8.30 m. This natural phenomenon is called in geomorphology “Taffoni. ". However we observe that this structure was modified by the hand of the man (traces of size are observable in the stone).

A declaration of discovery of maritime cultural property has been made to   Department of Underwater and Underwater Research.

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