Skip to main content

See also:

British police raid pub in hopes of finding stolen cup thought to be Holy Grail

UK map indicating the county of Herefordshire
UK map indicating the county of Herefordshire
Wikimedia Commons

It’s time to dust off some of your best Monty Python references (or Indiana Jones, if you prefer), because here we have another quest to find the Holy Grail, or at least the relic that some people believe to be the Holy Grail.

Those engaging in the quest may surprise you as well, though their purpose makes sense. A team of British police officers and a police dog raided a pub to find the wooden bowl known as the Nanteos Cup, which is said to have had healing powers associated with it since the 19th century and is considered by some to be the actual Holy Grail.

In mid-July, the cup was reported stolen from the home of a seriously ill woman who received it on loan and was using it in hopes of unlocking its purported healing powers. It has withered somewhat over the years and is currently held together with wire staples and kept in a velvet bag.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when authorities “received intelligence” that the cup had been seen at the Crown Inn in the nearby English county of Herefordshire and decided to execute a search warrant to look for it. The Nanteos Cup did not turn up, however, and the pub’s 58-year-old landlady Di Franklin says the police “turned the place upside down” to find it, using fiber optic cameras to conduct their search.

BBC News noted on Wednesday that the only thing that somewhat resembled the cup was a salad serving bowl.

"If somebody had stolen something as priceless as the Holy Grail, I don't think it would be on show in my pub,” Franklin said.

The Nanteos cup gets its name from being kept at the Nanteos Mansion in Aberystwyth, a market town located on the coast of Wales. Owner Margaret Powell kept the cup locked in the library at Nanteos but would give water from it to sick people who had traveled there. It eventually came into the ownership of the Steadman family in Herefordshire, who kept it in a Welsh bank vault.

It is believed to have been brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea after the death of Christ, but the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales reportedly conducted a test and concluded that the cup dates back to the late Middle Ages.