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The Copes of Westminster Abbey….?

copes

Do not let the above title confuse you. This is not about a TV family saga miniseries, but a very interesting subject for all that.

I still like to watch the repeats of ‘Time Team’, and yesterday it was the turn of the lost sacristy of Westminster Abbey. During the course of the programme, Tony Robinson was shown the chest that contained the copes. Only two drawers were opened – one cope was rich ruby red with golden embroidery, the other was purple with silver-gilt embroidery. They were absolutely wonderful, and I so wanted the other drawers to be opened as well! But they weren’t, and I was left wondering what other joys were still hidden away. Surely too many for just the one chest.

Does anyone know if the copes can be seen? Is there, at the very least, a website where I can gaze at my leisure? And what do they call such storage cupboards/chests? I’m sure I’ve heard the name in the past, but cannot recall it now.

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One thought on “The Copes of Westminster Abbey….?

  1. I recently visited the V&A’s Opus Anglicanum exhibit , it was fabulous. However. I don’t think there was any contribution ( though i may be wrong) from Westminster Abbey. Each piece was labelled and it’s source was mapped around a large shot of Europe. There was some incredible Copes on display , so if they had any from the 11th – 14th centuries from W A they would have been on display .The Vatican has the most I believe .

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