Archive Item of the Week: Textile Design

Welcome to Archive item of the week:  where we delve into Guildford Cathedral Archives to highlight sine if the unique items within the collection.

This week: New Copes

The Archives at Guildford Cathedral cover the entire history of the Cathedral, right from the very beginning in the early 1930s to the present day.

This means that new items keep coming to us every day as a result of the work constantly going on in the Cathedral, and as part of effective records management we are lucky that items come seamlessly to us in the Archives.

Therefore we get some exciting new items come to us on a regular occasion.  One of the most interesting items that have come to the archives are the plans and designs for the new Festal Copes.

These beautiful Copes were made by Polly Meynell, and one of Copes looks like this:



As part of the commissioning of the five new Copes Polly had to submit plans and designs for approval in 2010.  And these plans have now been transferred to the Archives.

The front cover of the folder of designs submitted by Polly Meynell

Each of the Copes is different and as such a different design needed to be submitted for each of the Copes:  Knowledge, Counsel, Understanding, Wisdom and the White Cope.

The Understanding Cope designed by Polly Meynell.  Copyright Polly Meynell


It is a real pleasure to be able to see the design process involved in creating these beautiful Copes, to see the exquisite drawings and to understand the thought process behind the designs is incredibly interesting and opens up a new angle when looking at the completed Copes.

Dean Victor Stock wore one of the Copes when meeting HM The Queen

Thanks to the wonderful work that we are doing as part of the HLF Project this item has now been transferred to our archive and is ready and waiting for you to explore.

If you are interested in seeing the rest of the designs submitted by Polly and studying the design process in creating such wonderful Copes please do get in touch with us in the archives, we would love to hear from you!