It is a quest that has inspired everyone from the knights of King Arthur to the comedians of Monty Python, but now seekers of the Holy Grail have a little extra incentive – a £2,000 reward.
The Nanteos Cup, dubbed the Welsh Holy Grail and reputed to be the cup used by Christ during the Last Supper, was stolen from a house in Weston-Under-Penyard in Herefordshire in July last year.
Unfortunately West Mercia Police have proved about as effective as King Arthur and his Round Table in tracking it down.
And so now the force has put up a reward of £1,000 for its return and information leading to the conviction of the thieves, a sum matched by the family which owns the cup.
According to experts who dated it for a TV documentary in 2004, it was made sometime during the 14th century.
But, according to legend, it was used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Christ’s blood when he was interred in a tomb.
Medieval chroniclers claimed Joseph took the cup to Britain and founded a line of guardians to keep it safe.
It ended up in Nanteos Mansion near Aberystwyth, Wales, attracting visitors who drank from it, believing it had healing powers. Bits were nibbled off by the sick in the hope of a miracle cure.
The modern owners had kept the cup in a bank vault but it was loaned to a seriously ill woman with connections to the family. The burglars are believed to have struck while she was in hospital.
In a statement, West Mercia Police said: “The cup is a medieval mazer bowl, a wooden cup/chalice, widely regarded as the Welsh Holy Grail. It is a dark wood cup and was kept in a blue velvet bag.”Reuse content