The Syon Cope

Image: Detail of the Syon Cope

Detail of the Syon Cope

Image kindly provided by Prof Michael Greenhalgh


The Syon Cope, from Syon Abbey, Middlesex. Made between 1300 and 1320, the cope would have been worn by a high-ranking priest or bishop. The 'cope', a semi-circular cape, is the outer garment worn by priests for special ceremonies and they are still used today, worn, for example, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Syon Cope was taken out of the country by the Bridgettine nuns of Syon Abbey during the reign of Elizabeth I. The order was reestablished in England in about 1810, and the Cope returned to these shores at that time.

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The Syon Cope

The Syon Cope