AN ancient relic which was once thought to be the holy grail has been stolen from a home near Ross-on-Wye.

The Nanteos Cup – believed to date back to the 1400's – was taken from Weston-under-Penyard sometime between 9.30am on Monday, July 7 and 9.30am on Monday.

Police said that that the dark wooden cup was kept in a blue velvet bag and was not in one piece.

The cup was historically known as being the Holy Grail because it had a reputation for healing.

People would often drink water from it in the hope that it would cure ailments.

In 2004, the Hereford Times reported that Fiona Mirylees, from Ross-on-Wye, once lived with with her family at Nanteos House near Aberystwyth and her father, Major Mirylees, stayed in How Caple.

For centuries, generations of pilgrims believed the Holy Grail was kept at Nantos House and the legend even apparently intrigued composer Richard Wagner when he stayed there.

The cup was reportedly carried over to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, who is said to have founded a religious settlement in Glastonbury.

The grail then came into the safekeeping of a group of monks from the Somerset town.

Some of the monks fled to Strata Florida Abbey, near Tregaron in Wales and took the cup with them.

The cup was later left in the care of the Stedman family and the Powells, who lived at Nanteos House.

Composer Richard Wagner was apparently intrigued by its legend after staying at the house and the cup was also featured in a Channel 5 documentary called, The Search for the Holy Grail: The True Story.

The programme stated that the wood the cup is made from dates back to at least the 1400's and was a mazer bowl, a type of medieval vessel.

Anyone with information about the burglary can call police on 101.