How the Nanteos Cup arrived in Britain

My Quest for the True Holy Grail by Ysatis De Saint-Simone


Nanteos cup

After the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, in view of his formal identification of Jesus, could no longer keep his family ties (he was the uncle of Mary, Jesus’ Mother) nor his discipleship a secret, and was accordingly, with other followers of Jesus, persecuted by the Jewish hierarchy. He was obliged to seek refuge in another land, and sailing along the Mediterranean, came to Marseille. It is believed he was accompanied by his son Josephus, the Bethany family, Zaacheus, and others mentioned by Rabanus (Magdalene College, Oxford, No. 29 in Library Catalogue). Some settled in the Rhone Valley and some continued their journey to Morlaix with Joseph where they took ship for southwest Britain. Following the inlet from the Bristol Channel they landed at the Wirral, Glastonbury, about one mile from the Tor. (J.W.Taylor ‘The Coming of the Saints’ , page 175). Many legends grew around the story of Joseph, where most historians of Glastonbury were monks.

In the earliest documents Joseph is referred to as Joseph de Marmore of Arimathea (‘Joseph of Arimathea’ Rev. Smithett Lewis, M.A., page 94). ‘Mar’ is an Eastern term for ‘Lord’ and ‘more’ or ‘mawr’ signifies ‘Great.’ Therefore Joseph’s full title was, ‘The Great Lord Joseph of Arimathea,’ a title in keeping with his birth as a Prince of the House of David. Joseph was the brother of Joachim, the father of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and thus, His granduncle.

Joseph and his party were welcomed by King Arviragus (Caractacus), whose friend he was, and housed temporarily at the Sanctuary or ‘City of Refuge,’ Glastonbury -- this time Joseph came not on business but rather as a missionary, the eleven disciples of Joseph of Arimathea are not identifiable with our Lord’s disciples: it included the Bethany family, his son, and others. Their mission was the forging of four significant links between Glastonbury and the Holy Land, and the undeniable fulfillment of prophecy. (‘The Story of Glastonbury’ Isabel Hill Elder).

The first notable act of the King Arviragus was to bestow upon these ‘Judean refugees’ XII hides of land free of tax. It is stated at Liber de Soliaco (1619 AD) that at Glastonbury 1 hide of land = 160 acres. With this land grant a document was furnished setting forth the legal aspect of the gift, which gave the recipients many British concessions including the right of citizenship and all the privileges accorded to the Druidic hierarch. Every Druid was entitled to one hide of land, free of tax, freedom to pass unmolested from one district to another in time of war, and many other privileges. This grant is recorded in Domesday Book (Domesday Survey, folio page 249b).

The Last Supper, which circumstantial evidence shows took place at the Upper Room in the town house of Joseph of Arimathea in Jerusalem, who provided not only the room, but also the Dish and the Cup where Jesus performed the Holy Eucharist Miracle. Thus, this Cup became a Hallow of the Holy Grail and since that moment a very sacred treasure to Joseph Marmore and was among the valued objects brought with him to Glastonbury, not for its intrinsic value -- for it was but an ordinary wooden cup such as the ones in everyday use in Palestine -- but because in this Cup our Lord inaugurated the New Covenant with His Blood. ‘This cup is the New Covenant in My Blood’ (Luke XXII, 20).

The Nanteos Cup is considered the most likely candidate to be the only legitimate Holy Grail, or the real Last Supper Cup -- not only because this is the type of cup that was and is still in use in Palestine, but most importantly because of all the historic existing data and the innumerable healing miracles connected to It -- which have been authenticated by the Court of England. It is also a well-known fact that the Cup of the Last Supper was brought by Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury as one of his most priceless treasures. It was kept hidden at the Celtic Church at Glastonbury, which he founded in 37 A.D. and so was the Nanteos Cup.


Glastonbury Abbey ruins

When the Saxons overran Somerset in 725 A.D. the Celtic Church was demolished and replaced by a building approved by Rome. During its demolition the Cup was discovered. It was enclosed in a box with documentary evidence of Its history and precious value. The Cup was kept by the Benedictines until 1539 when Henry VIII announced the dissolution of the Monasteries, at which time the Abbot and six older monks fled ‘over the impassable mountains’ into Wales where they stayed in Strata Florida in peace and quietness. At the end of three years, tidings came to this secluded spot and the emissaries of Henry were on their way to despoil this Monastery.

 Strata 1

Ruins at Strata Florida Monastery

Obliged to flee again, this time they arrived to Nanteos Manor situated near Aberystwyth, where the Lord of the Manor gave them shelter. Gradually the monks passed away, and as his end approached the Abbot gave the sacred charge to keep the Holy Cup in their family’s possession ‘until the True Church claims It her own.’

Richard Wagner visited Nanteos Manor, saw the Cup, and was so inspired that he started to write his famous Opera about the Holy Grail, ‘Parsifal.’

Water passed from the Wooden Bowl is said to have miraculous healing powers. 

Exorcismos 07

Picture above: Joseph of Arimathea is depicted in this 14th Century Illustration of the Crucifixion, receiving the Blood of Jesus in the wooden cup of the Last Supper, the Vessel thus hallowed, becomes known as the Cup of the Holy Grail.



Ysatis De Saint-Simone holding the Nanteos Cup.

The Nanteos Cup is the one that Ysatis De Saint-Simone searched many years for, and that she was literally led to, and that she not only held in her hands, but was blessed with a miracle of Divine Grace granted to her. A Miracle of the Water, which was witnessed by her two friends and by Mrs. . . ., and her daughter -- who afterwards wrote to her speaking about the water ‘incident’ and confirming that they considered it a miracle, because it was a phenomenon they had never witnessed before.

The Miracle of the water happened when generously Mrs. . . .offered Ysatis some water from the Grail, which has performed many cures. After 12 small bottles they have there to offer water for healing purposes were filled with water that had been put in the Cup, and there was still some water left, her daughter addressing Ysatis, said,

‘There’s some water left, would you like some more?’

So, Ysatis said,

‘Thank you so much,’ and seeing that her two friends wanted some but didn’t dare to ask said, ‘maybe my friends would like some water also.’ 

And she filled 6 bottles for each one of them, then seeming a little puzzled she said to Ysatis again,

There is still more water, would you like some more?’

Then, Ysatis said, ‘Oh, thank you! I was just thinking of some friends I have in Los Angeles who would love to have some! Thank you!’

But they all realized that even after filling up 3 dozen bottles with the water that had been poured, without having added any more water to the half bowl, there was still the same amount of water in the Cup. . . So, surprised, showing the bowl to her mother, Mrs. . . .she commented that something odd was happening, something that had never happened before. . . . .The water was still at the same level in the Cup no matter how many bottles she had filled!

So, Mrs. . . .‘comprehending the Will of the Grail,’  that’s how she put it -- asked Ysatis if she wanted to drink the water from the Grail.

‘I would not have dared to ask,’ she said, ‘but I was thinking I would love to hold It in my hands. . . Yes, thank you so much.’

Ysatis says that she cannot explain what happened, because words fall short in front of a Miracle, but she says that as she drank the Water of Miracles, as the Holy Grail’s Water entered her body with the purity that only water has. . . ‘it was as if the miracle was happening within her too, because she could literally feel how the Water of the Grail washed away not only the physical thirst -- as regular water does -- but in the purity of Its silence, the Grail was quenching the Ancestral Desire written in her soul, that Ancestral Drive written in all of us questing for our True Destiny and Nature and finding the real answer to that so very important question, ‘What is the Holy Grail?’

And that is how in silence she comprehended the wisdom of the of words of Gurnemanz, when he says to Parzival,

‘I may not say. . . But if to serve It thou be bidden, Knowledge of It will not be hidden.’


Ysatis De Saint-Simone

She is a practicing Hypno-Analyst, lecturer and writer. Her books are designed to help others to discover their own potential for enlightenment and apply it to their lives, a secret which in our time has eluded the minds and experience of many illustrious men.

She was knighted as a Dame of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in September 2010; she has traveled extensively and lectured and researched the mysteries of the Apocalypse, Genesis, the Holy Grail and its Hallows, the Cup, the Spear and the Holy Shroud of Turin and their deep significance and connection to our own evolution.

This section comes from the history of the Powell Family, the guardians of the Nanteos Cup for generations.

 Nanteos mansionnow

Nanteos Mansion is a grade one listed Georgian Mansion, regarded as one of the most important estates in the county of Ceredigion. Whilst records of the estate stretch back to the 13th centaury the Mansion itself was built by the wealthy Powell family in 1738.

The Powell family remained in residence for 200 years up until the last of the Powell's, Margaret Powell, died in 1951. At its height the estate covered some 35000 acres, covering most of what is today Aberystwyth and was the major employer of the county.

Today after four years of meticulous and painstaking renovations and refurbishment and some 5 million pounds of investment, Nanteos Mansion has once more opened it's doors reviving the long tradition of welcoming guests to enjoy a what is a quintessentially Georgian Mansion that just happens to be a luxury hotel!

Cwpan Nanteos

The Cup, said to be The Holy Grail used by Jesus Christ in the last supper, came to Nanteos with seven monks from Strata Florida Cardiganshire, on the dissolution of the Abbey in the region of Henry VIII. The Powell family was left in possession of the sacred vessel after the last of the seven monks died.

The Cup stayed at Nanteos throughout the centuries, and attached by a belief in its healing powers, people from all over travelled to Nanteos to drink from this sacred cup.

During Margaret Powell’s time there was a routine to the Cup lending, which was as follows:

The Cup was kept in the library, locked in a cupboard. The caller would be sent into the Morning room t be greeted by Margaret Powell. Maggie would be in the Library placing the Cup on the display table between the two windows. She would fill it up with water, and then Mrs. Powell would enter the room. The visitor drank from the Cup. The Mrs. Powell took them into the Dining room and slammed the door loudly so Maggie could hear. Maggie would then take the Cup and replace it with a replica in case anyone tried to steal it. This was done every time.

The Holy Grail (Cwpan Nanteos)


The Cup is made of olive wood or wych elm and originally measured approximately 12cm by 12cm. However, severe usage over the centuries the old artifact has wrought great damage: much of the Cup has been nibbled off by the sick in their hope of a miracle cure.

The Cup now measures only 10cm by 8.5cm, is held together by wire staples and fits comfortably in the palm of the hand.

Today the Cup is no longer at Nanteos but it is in safe keeping, not too far away.

Here are a few examples of the Cup lending, taken from old receipts:

27th November 1857

Cup loaned this day to Wm Rowland Ystrad Tregaron for his sister

......wholly cured left one pound returned 2nd January.

May 1858

Cup lent this day to Evan Evans Pantyfynnon for his wife ...................... left a watch.

26th July 1860

Cup lent this day to James Morgan .......................... Left a sovereign.

20th January 1860

The Cup lent this day to Rich Jones Labourer, Llangonsen for the use of his wife............................. Left a watch, bleeding stopped. Returned 7th March 1860

3rd August 1862

The Cup lent to Wm Jones Llanbadarn ............................ left silver watch.

Returned 4th September 1862. Case cured.

Telling the story of the Nanteos Cup at Aberystwyth Castle



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