Coping (from ''cope'', Latin ''capa''), consists of the capping or covering of a wall.
A splayed or wedge coping slopes in a single direction; a saddle coping slopes to either side of a central high point.〔Ching, Francis D. K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. ISBN 0-442-02462-2, p. 266.〕
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.
Various types of copings exist. A diagramatic explanation of copper copings is available.〔Flashings and copings: Coping covers; http://www.copper.org/applications/architecture/arch_dhb/flashings_copings/coping_covers.html〕〔Flashings and coatings: Counterflashing; http://www.copper.org/applications/architecture/arch_dhb/flashings_copings/counterflashing.html〕〔Flashings and copings: Stepped and chimney flashings〕
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.
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