What happened to the Holy Grail? (Rex Features)

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The linchpin of many medieval romances and of even more conspiracy theories, the grail is a dish, plate or cup said to have magical powers. It is supposed to have been used by Christ at the Last Supper, and later by Joseph of Arimathea to catch His blood following the crucifixion.

Unfortunately for grail hunters everywhere, the evidence that it exists is slender to say the least. For one thing it is mentioned nowhere at all until the 12th century, and even then only by one Chrétien de Troyes, a poet and troubadour rather than a genuine biblical scholar or historian.