From the 16th century onwards, the town of Brouage had a commercial vocation. Indeed, the salt cultivated in the vicinity of the town made it rich and gave it an international reputation. Very quickly, the retreat of the coastline, caused by the influx of alluvial deposits from the Charente and aggravated by the cultivation of salt which dried out the marshes, gradually led to the decline of the town.
The Beaugeay Lockmaster's House
The Brouage marsh was cleaned up in the 19th century on the initiative of the sub-prefect of Marennes, Charles Esprit Le Terme. The digging of canals, the installation of locks and the creation of marshland syndicates enabled the marshland to be cleaned up and, above all, the water level to be better controlled.
The Beaugeay lock and its lockhouse were built in the early 19th century. The house which served as the lock keeper's house is now disused and has been restored as part of a programme to renovate traditional rural heritage.
8000 years ago, the sea invaded the lowlands and created two vast marine gulfs in which highlands emerged as islands. Some places have kept the word "island" in their name. Bordeaux Island is one of them.