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Ravens at the Tower of London: Guardians of The Crown

The Tower of London has a 1,000-year history. It evolved from an initial symbol of victory to a prison.

It also became the largest occupied castle in the world. 

For a curious traveler, the history of the Tower of London is fascinating and intricate. 

These tales, traditions and events add an extra allure to this exemplary medieval structure.

Among the various interesting stories, one that stands out the most is the association of ravens at the Tower of London. 

The Ravens at the Tower of London is a perfect source of attraction for visitors and helps to uncover some lesser-known and personal details of various kings of the royal past. 

The Ravens at the Tower of London have a long and deep association with the history of the Tower of London and the existence of the royal kingdom itself. 

From basic curiosities, such as why does the Tower of London have ravens, to how many ravens live at the Tower of London, this article will cover all. 

Let’s give you some context behind the Ravens at the Tower of London so you can appreciate them better on your tour.

The Tower of London Ravens 

Wild ravens have been common throughout Britain for a long time. Ravens were common even in towns and places like the Tower of London.

The earliest known reference to the captive ravens at the Tower of London is an illustration from 1883.

Charles II was thought to be the first to insist that the Ravens of the Tower of London be protected.

The legend behind the Ravens at the Tower of London is that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the resident ravens ever leave the fortress or die.

The belief was so strong that it overrode the complaints of his astronomer, James Flamsteed, who claimed that the ravens were impeding his observatory in the White Tower. 

However, this notion changed soon. According to another legend, after a fire, when the survivors started persecuting the ravens for scavenging, Flamsteed explained that killing all ravens would be a bad omen.

In response, Charles II ordered the upkeep and care of six birds at the Tower. 

The Ravens at the Tower of London are currently cared for by a dedicated team of Yeoman Warders known as the Ravenmaster’s assistant. 

The Tower of London Ravens can be seen at their lodging on the south lawn. They are considered sophisticated and intelligent birds. 

Apart from their intriguing beginning and association with the Tower of London, visitors can spot some of their fascinating behavior on their visit as they explore the grounds. 

We recommend getting a Tower of London Guided tour to fully explore and learn the secrets to truly appreciate this attraction. 

Note: Getting the London City Pass is highly recommended if you are on a multi-day trip to London
It allows travelers to explore numerous attractions around the city with just one pass. The biggest highlight is the value-for-money proposition. It saves significant money. 

Why are the Ravens at the Tower of London?

The Tower of London ravens are there because it is believed that if they ever leave the Tower, the kingdom and the crown will fall. 

This goes back to Charles II, who insisted on keeping a few ravens at the Tower of London due to a warning. 

Killing ravens or their flight out of the tower has been believed to be a bad omen since then and is still followed in modern times. 

This, the Ravens at the Tower of London serve as a good omen and a protector of the crown and the Tower of London itself.

How Many Ravens at the Tower of London? 

Initially, six captive ravens were held at the Tower of London. The number has increased to nine. 

The tower is believed to host at least six ravens at all times. According to legend, fewer than six is usually a bad omen.

The names of the Ravens at the Tower of London are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina. 

Two ravens, Edgar and Branwen, joined the Tower’s legendary Corvid community in May 2021. 

Can the Ravens at the Tower of London Fly?

Yes, the Ravens at the Tower of London can fly. However, one thing to know is that the Ravenmaster occasionally trims some of the raven’s feathers. 

Occasionally, the ravens’ primary and secondary feathers are trimmed with a careful feather management routine. 

Though all the ravens can fly, they are encouraged to stay at the Tower of London through feather management, plenty of food and a comfortable new closure. 

Even after so much effort, there have been several incidents of ravens going out of the tower.

Raven Muninn flew off to Greenwich and eventually returned by a vigilant public member after seven days. 

Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub.

Food and Care for the Tower of London Ravens

Due to their immense significance and long association, the Ravens at the Tower of London are always well cared for. 

The Ravens are fed twice daily by the in-house Ravenmaster and dine on a special diet of mice, chicks, and rats. 

Along with these, the Tower of London Ravens are also fed assorted raw meats. 

One fact about the diet and food of the Tower of London ravens that might surprise you is the special treat.

The ravens are given special treats like biscuits soaked in blood! 

Visitors can spot the ravens presiding over four territories within the Tower’s walls. Guests are recommended to be careful and not feed the ravens by themselves. 

Getting too close to them can be dangerous as they might bite you if they feel their territory is threatened. 

These intelligent birds respond only to the Ravenmaster. Since 1987, the Tower has undertaken a successful breeding program for the ravens. 

Top Three Tower of London Tickets 

Visitors require a ticket to explore the rich heritage and history of the Tower of London. However, not all tickets are the same and give you the same experience. 

Visitors must plan their visit carefully to fully understand and appreciate a complex and old attraction like the Tower of London. 

Below is a list of the top three Tower of London Tickets. Choose one as per your itinerary and budget for the best possible experience. 

Tower of London Private Tour 

Visitors are highly recommended to go beyond the regular Tower of London entrance tickets and opt for the guided tours. 

With the Tower of London Private Guided tour, visitors can explore and understand the site’s significance. 

The Tower of London has a long history, and its charm goes beyond its exterior beauty. 

With an expert guide, guests can uncover the secrets and understand what makes the Tower of London fascinating. 

Learn about the Jewel House, the fascinating Fusiliers Regiment and much more about the royal and British history. 

This Tower of London Private Guided tour is highly recommended to all guests who want ample time to explore without feeling crowded and delve deep into the rich goldmine of royal history. 

Adult Tickets (16 years & above) – £437 (US $312)
Children Tickets (5 to 15 years) – £23 (US $31)
Infant Tickets (up to 4 years) – Free

Tower of London and Tower Bridge Early-Access Tour 

The Tower of London combo tickets are excellent value-for-money tours, allowing visitors to explore two or more activities with one ticket.

With the Tower of London and Tower Bridge Combo tickets, guests can explore Tower Bridge, which is closely associated with the Tower of London’s history.

With the official opening ceremony, guests can witness a long-standing spectacular tradition.

It is also a guided tour, allowing guests to delve deep into the history and hidden facts that are well-guarded from the public.

Witness the priceless Crown Jewels and riveting stories associated with areas inside the tower, such as the White Tower, Bloody Tower and more.

Finally, enjoy a skip-the-line ticket to the Tower Bridge Experience to enter the Victorian Engine Rooms. 

Adult Tickets (13 years & above) – £132 (US $312)
Children Tickets (4 to 12 years) – £127 (US $31)
Infant Tickets (up to 3 years) – Free

Tower of London, Changing of the Guard and Cruise 

The Tower of London, due to its convenient location on the Thames River, allows the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing sightseeing boat ride. 

This is one of the most recommended Tower of London Combo for a must-experience Thames River Cruise and access to the Tower of London. 

The guided walking tour of London’s royal sights provides a comprehensive tour of all prominent sites, such as Buckingham Palace and more.

Witness the iconic changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace or the Horse Guards Parade for a memorable experience.

Access to the Tower of London allows guests to explore its hidden royal secrets and witness the priceless Crown Jewels. 

Finally, take the water for an engaging and informative Thames River Boat Ride for a unique sightseeing tour to witness some iconic near-shore attractions, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, and more.

Adult Tickets (15 years & above) – £329 (US $136)
Children Tickets (5 to 14 years) – £69 (US $123)
Infant Tickets (up to 4 years) – Free

FAQ

Why are there ravens At the Tower of London?

It is believed that the ravens are the guardians of the Tower of London and the Crown. 

The ravens in the Tower of London’s history became significant during the reign of Charles II. 

He believed protecting and keeping them at the Tower of London was essential. Without them, the Crown and the Tower would fall. 

How long do Tower of London ravens live?

Ravens generally have a lifespan that varies from 10-15 years. In the wild, they can live anywhere from 20 to 30 years. 

However, captive ravens at the Tower of London can live longer, between 40 to 60 years, with proper care and food. 

The oldest raven at the Tower of London was called Jim Crow, who died at the age of 44.

How many ravens are at the Tower of london?

It is believed that the Tower of London must host at least six ravens at all times. Thus, the minimum number is six. Though it keeps fluctuating. 

Currently, there are nine ravens at the Tower of London. The names of the Ravens at the Tower of London are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina. 

Get the Tower of London Guided Tour tickets to explore the castle and uncover all its secrets with an expert guide. 

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