POLICE raided a village pub near Ross-on-Wye in search of the 'Holy Grail' - only to find a salad bowl.

Officers believed that the Nanteos Cup - stolen from a home in Weston under Penyard last month - was being housed at the Crown Inn at Lea.

The historical relic was once thought to be the Holy Grail and Christ is understood to have drunk from it at the Last Supper.

Police and a dog handler allegedly locked all the staff inside while they searched every inch of the 15th century pub in their hunt for the stolen relic.

But, the only thing they found that looked like the missing cup was a wooden bowl used to serve mixed salad to customers.

The Nanteos Cup – believed to date back to the 1400’s – was taken from Weston-under-Penyard sometime between July 7 and July 15.

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 the cup in the hope that it would cure their ailments.

In 2004, the Hereford Times reported how the cup had made its way to the county.

Fiona Mirylees, from Ross-on-Wye, lived at Nanteos House near Aberystwyth and would send Holy water from it to people who believed it could cure them.

Fiona’s mother, Betty Mirylees, was left the Nanteos estate, and the cup, by her cousin Margaret Powell in 1952. She sold the house and the estate in 1961 and later moved to Herefordshire.

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