Coping (architecture)

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A bridge on the Lancaster Canal, featuring coping stones linked by large metal "staples" [1].

Coping (from cope, Latin capa) consists of the capping or covering of a wall.[2]

A splayed or wedge coping slopes in a single direction; a saddle coping slopes to either side of a central high point.[3]

A coping may consist of stone (capstone), brick, tile, slate, metal, wood or thatch. In all cases it should be weathered to throw off the water.[2]

Various types of copings exist. A diagramatic explanation of copper copings is available.[4][5][6]

In Romanesque work copings appeared plain and flat, and projected over the wall with a throating to form a drip. In later work a steep slope was given to the weathering (mainly on the outer side), and began at the top with an astragal; in the Decorated style there were two or three sets off; and in the later Perpendicular Period these assumed a wavy section, and the coping mouldings continued round the sides, as well as at top and bottom, mitreing at the angles, as in many of the colleges at Oxford.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brushing °
  2. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Coping". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 101.
  3. ^ Ching, Francis D. K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. ISBN 0-442-02462-2, p. 266.
  4. ^ Flashings and copings: Coping covers;
  5. ^ Flashings and coatings: Counterflashing;
  6. ^ Flashings and copings: Stepped and chimney flashings