NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Nanteos Cup

Welsh: Cwpan Nanteos
The Nanteos Healing Cup, The Tregaron Healing Cup

A medieval wood bowl which were held at Nanteos Mansion near Aberystwyth in Wales for many years, before that it had been in the possession of the Abbey at Strata Florida (founded in 1164). It’s crafted from wych elm in the late Middle Ages. Today less than half the bowl remains due to damages over the years, but it should have been 10 cm in height and with a diameter of 12 cm.

In the late nineteenth century it was said it could heal those who drank from it, and it contained a piece of the True Cross. Because of this it in time got onto the list as a candidate to be the Holy Grail – among with about two hundred other items in Europe.

The history of the Nanteos Cup begins in the early nineteenth century in Wales. It is isaid that the cup was brought to Nanteos Mansion, near Aberystwyth, by a Spanish monk fleeing the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars.

The Dissolution of the Monasteries was a significant event in English history that took place between 1536 and 1541 during the reign of King Henry VIII. It involved the closing down and confiscation of monastic houses, including abbeys, priories, nunneries, and friaries, and the subsequent transfer of their lands, wealth, and properties to the Crown. According to the Nanteos Mansion’s own website, seven monks fled to Nanteos from the Cistercian Abbey Strata Florida in 1539, bringing with them a sacred relic.

Legends and tales of miraculous healings associated with the cup spread throughout the region. Many pilgrims sought its healing powers and flocked to Nanteos Mansion. It was said that the cup could cure illnesses and relieve suffering when water or liquid was placed inside it and given to the sick.

The Nanteos Cup became associated with the Holy Grail due to its similiarities to the legendary chalice. It was described as a wooden vessel covered in silver and adorned with intricate engravings. Many believed that the cup had been carried to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, who, according to Christian lore, collected Christ’s (Jesus) blood in the Grail during the crucifixion.

Over the years, countless individuals sought the Nanteos Cup in the hopes of harnessing its healing powers. Pilgrims and believers flocked to Nanteos Mansion to receive its alleged curative properties. However, the cup’s association with the Grail also made it a target for treasure hunters and adventurers, eager to unlock the secrets of the fabled relic.

In 1952, tragedy struck when Nanteos Mansion caught fire. Some sources suggest that the cup had been removed from the mansion and placed in a bank vault before the fire, ensuring its safety. However, other accounts claim that the cup was stolen either before or during the fire, and that a replica or a substitute cup was placed in its stead. In recent years, the Nanteos Cup has resurfaced, adding to its mystique. Some claim to possess the original cup, passing it down through generations, while others maintain that it is a replica. The true origins and authenticity of the cup remain disputed, and it continues to captivate the imagination of historians, theologians, and Grail enthusiasts around the world.

The link between the Nanteos Cup and the Holy Grail emerged in the late nineteenth century when a manuscrip known as the “Nanteos Manuscript” was discovered. The manuscript claimed that the cup at Nanteos was indeed the Holy Grail. It recounted the cup’s journey from Jerusalem to Britain, further adding to its mystique.

Interest in the Nanteos Cup and its supposed connection to the Holy Grail intensified over the years. However, the cup itself remained hidden away from public view. It was kept under lock and key, only occasionally brought out for private viewings.

In 2014, the Nanteos Cup was temporarily loaned to the National Library of Wales for public exhibition. Its appearance created significant excitement and drew widespread attention. However, the debate regarding its authenticity and connection to the Holy Grail remains a subject of controversy and skepticism. While some people believe that the Nanteos Cup is indeed the Holy Grail, others argue that it is a medieval or post-medieval artifact with no direct link to Jesus or the Last Supper.

See also
Nanteos Cup stolen | BBC, 2014/07/16
Nanteos Cup to be reunited with owners | BBC, 2015/06/26
Holy Grail cup on show at national library | BBC, 2016/06/18