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The Nanteos Cup
The Holy Grail?

The Tradition: During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, a group of monks left Glastonbury for Strata Florida Abbey, in South Wales, where they hoped to escape from the ravages of Henry VIII's commissioners. However, the Royal officials soon reached Strata Florida too and the monks were forced to flee over the hills to nearby Nanteos House. Here, the old Prior of Glastonbury became chaplain to the local lord, Mr. Powell, and the other monks became servants around the estate. So things carried on until the monks eventually started to die off. On his death-bed, the last monk revealed to Mr. Powell that his little group had brought with them, from Glastonbury, the Holy Grail which had been brought to Britain by their Abbey's founder, St. Joseph of Arimathea. This was subsequently entrusted to the Powell family "until the church shall claim her own".

Subsequent History: The tradition, unfortunately, only appears to date from Victorian times. The "Nanteos Cup" as the supposed Grail became known remained at the Manor, attracting many pilgrims and performing many apparent miracles until 1952. All this is well documented. At this date, the last of the Powells died. The house (and the cup) were then sold to a Major Merrilees, who later moved to Herefordshire, taking the Nanteos Cup with him. Then, it resided, for many years, in a bank vault. It is a small wooden vessel (5" diameter, 3" deep) in a very poor state today, due to pilgrims' biting large chunks out of it, over the years, in order to aid recovery from their ills. It was after being lent out one such believer that the Nanteos Cup was stolen in July 2014. It has not been recovered.

 

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001; Revised 2014. All Rights Reserved.