Le parcours découverte de Lauris
Panel 10 The wheel chaser or bouto-rodo
The "chasse-roues" or "bouto-rodo" in Provençal, is this big stone that you can still see sometimes at the corner of the streets. In the past, when people travelled with carts and dumpers pulled by horses, mules or donkeys, wheel chasers were very useful. They were even indispensable.
The ancients took the hardest possible stones from the quarries in the Luberon to make them. These stones were about sixty centimetres high and forty centimetres wide. The men cut them into half-sugar loaves and placed them at the corners of the houses in the narrowest streets. These large stones had a double function: to prevent the hubs of the wheels from hitting the walls of the houses and to help with the handling of the cart. In fact, in the narrow streets the wheels of the carts would hit the stone, the animals would continue to pull, so the back of the vehicle would slide off and get back on track.
At this sign, make a U-turn into Rue Jean d'Autan to reach sign number 11.