I continue, when i have time, to research my favourite area of Rennes-les-Bains. I have found references to landslides in the area , viz;
"At Rennes-les-Bains, where there are five mineral springs waters, including three thermal sources and two cold sources. These baths were formerly known as Bains de Montferrand. This was probably once the city of Redda or Redæ, which gave its name to the surrounding region, Reddesium or the Razes (1). If the old name might be in doubt, it is not the same on the point, during the time which we are dealing with, because of an important group of artefacts found. The small objects, give certain indications of an important Gallo-Roman occupation: coins, fragments of tiles and amphoras, various pieces of pottery, etc., have been collected in large numbers, as well as various metal objects, statuettes and two chariot wheels, in bronze, with five spokes, currently in the museum of Toulouse. Besides the debris of a Roman house, which was crushed by the landslide of a rock mass detached from the mountain, and which was discovered in 1841, there was also recognized, at several points of the present village, the substructions and debris of buildings belonging to various buildings, having had to have been part of a rather extensive city.
The following inscription, engraved on a marble altar:
was not unrelated to the baths, for it had formerly been taken from the old area around the fountain of the Baths of Rennes "
The actual thermal building disappeared completely, following miscellaneous re-piping, conveying [conveyance] and other levelling work, but ancient texts make it possible to reconstruct a certain idea of how it looked . It was on the site of re-establishment on the actual site of the Bain de la Reine, and we are still discovering rare vestiges in the substructions of buildings, when it is necessary to dig a little deeper for rebuilding. The Abbe Delmas, in a manuscript memorandum written in 1709 (3), said that he had seen the vestiges of a lifelike thermal baths of which he had also seen vestiges in Rome. Another memoir of M. Sage, read in 1746 at the Academy of Sciences of Toulouse, gave some more precise details: "We can still distinguish at the source de la Reine the marks of small rooms that no doubt formed apartments. The remains of canals of lead have been found there. We discover still, from time to time, small pieces of marble - rows of mosaics and encrusted with stones with a strong cement. Sometimes there are large pieces of marble - white and black, which they have infallibly transported, to the country ... There are other species of round stones eight inches in circumference, easily divided into four equal portions, and that one would think was intended to make compartments. There are shells of several species, encrusted on walls.
In 1799, under a crumbling stone vault, a basin paved with white marble and covered on its periphery of hard and polished black shale. Another basin, built in cement and founded on the rock, still existed at the same time, and, beside it, we could see the remains of a conduit served to raise the waters and carry them into the basin. Finally, Dr. Gourdon (1) pointed out the existence, by the river bed near the source du Pont, a series of holes dug in the rock and regularly aligned on two rows about two meters apart. Have these holes been used to secure the piers of a double dam, which may be of use from the point of view of supply fresh water? We do not know, because we do not seem to have any evidence on the age and origin of this work.
(1) "I believe that this town must be placed in the village of Rennes, four Leagues from Limoux, which is famous for its baths. The situation is, for the village of Rennes is in the Razez; the name is the same because Rennes comes from Redenæ, diminutive of Redæ. Finally, every day near this village many medals, which show that there was formerly a considerable city in this place. "
(Astruc, Memoirs for the natural history of the province of Languedoc, p. 190, 1737.)
(2) Most of the debris from Rennes-les-Bains was deposited at the museums of Carcassonne and Narbonne. Various fragments of the constructions: basins, capitals, columns, etc. which were grouped near a nearby fountain in Rennes, known as the Cercle.
(3) Memoirs of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of France, vol. II, 1820. Report by M. Bottin on the work of the Society (p.33): "You have been put in possession of an old manuscript, in which a priest of campagna, named Delmas, consigned, in 1709, his researches on the baths of Montferrand, frequented by the colony of Narbonne, and the many antiquities found there. Just as we do in our gardens for the purpose of Caves."
This work is taken from the following and is interesting because the writer talks in the first person re: some discoveries and would be contemporaneous with Henri Boudet. It is also interesting that another researcher feels it is Rennes-les-Bains which is the antique Rheda!
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.