Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

Dean Forest


The Holy Grail

The quest for The Holy Grail proved to be a lethal obstacle course that killed many of Arthur's knights. Legend says that Galahad and his party of knights discovered and captured The Holy Grail and brought it back to Camelot Castle to Arthur.

The Holy Grail was found in the possession of Anfortas II, the Grail-King, who was relocated to Britain under King Arthur's patronage, and was given the old iron-age hill-fort at Castell Dinas Bran, at Llangollen, in Clwyd, Wales as his estate. His family, descendants of Joseph of Arimathea, that is, the "Grail-Kings", served as the official "keepers" of the holy relic, which was kept in an old Roman temple that was refurbished to house it, the one at Lydney Park in the Forest of Dean about nine miles north-east of Chepstow in Gloucestershire. It is situated on a hill overlooking the River Severn. The temple complex was a hybrid of architectural types. Its basic plan was that of a Celto-Roman shrine with a central inner sanctum surrounded by a portico. The Holy Grail was later returned to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Helyas"The Swan Knight", epic-hero of the First Crusade 1096-99, the last Grail-King, and, the first Grand-Master of the Knights-Templar, who, upon entering Jerusalem (accompanying his son, Geoffrey of Bouillon, the leader (army-commander) of the First Crusade) placed the Holy Grail himself on the high-altar (1099). The Holy Grail was taken out of Jerusalem to Acre at the time of Jerusalem's fall to the Muslims either in 1187 and/or 1244, and there remained at Acre until 1291 when it was taken by the Knight-Templar Guillame (III) de Beaujeu to Antioch and entrusted into the care of Tibald de Gaudin, the city's bishop. The Holy Grail after that disappears from history until 1910 when there was found in the ruins of a church at Antioch, a cup, containing an inner cup, that is thought by able scholars to be the Holy Grail. The inner cup is plain silver, however its container, the outer cup, is exquisitely carved silver with the figures of Christ and His disciples at the "Last Supper". The outer cup was obviously made to hold the inner cup, as a sacred, precious object older than itself. The artistic style and workmanship is considered to be of first century date. The Holy Grail, now called "The Chalice of Antioch", eventually came into the possession of the Cloister's Museum in New York City and is privately owned today by the Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY.

  The text above is from:
                "The British Chronicles"
                by David Hughes
                publisher: Heritage Books 2007

Edward Hunt