Ravens Guard Royal Tower {{VIDEO}}

Ravens Guard Royal Tower

Ravens Guard Royal Tower

The Royal Guards are not the only thing that protects the Tower of London. According to legend, the six ravens that permanently reside there are the main guardians of the Royal site.

“If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.” according to a legend described in Wikipedia.


As a result, six of them rule the roost and are treated like royalty, complete with servants. Ravenmaster Derek Coyle said the birds are a “huge tourist attraction.” 

They’ve had their wings clipped so they can’t fly away and get a special diet to keep them healthy. As a result, some of them live as long as 40 years. In addition, each has their own name and colored bands on their legs used for identification purposes

At one time, due to a captive breeding program, there were as many as 17 chicks, all from two ravens named Charles and Rhys. He said as royalty they aren’t required to do anything except make themselves available to the public.

Wikipedia says legends that put the ravens as the “true  defenders” of The Tower, are based on century old myths, some of which are seeped in blood.


One ancient story claims it originated after an Irish king mistreated a British princess. This made the princess’s brother so angry he ordered the Irish king to be slain and his head placed beneath the White Hill, which is where The Tower now stands.

69c60173adcf679de9bf50bfe0358c1bAnother story based on folklore, says the ravens were attracted to The Tower by the smell of bodies after Anne Boleyn executed her enemies.

“Even the ravens of The Tower sat silent and immovable on the battlements and gazed at the strange scene.” the folklore tale says.

Other myths claim the ravens behaved terribly during the execution of Lady Jane Grey in 1554. “Pecking the eyes from the severed head,” the story goes.

In the book How the Ravens Came to the Tower, American author, Boria Sax, insists “the ravens were originally brought to The Tower to dramatize the alleged site of the many executions at The Tower.”

Less bloodier explanations have King Charles II and his astronomer angry over droppings from wild ravens landing on their telescope. It’s said that when the king ordered all ravens killed, the astronomer protested and told him. “If you do that The Tower will fall and you will lose your kingdom.”

With that news, King Charles was said to have agreed to keep only six ravens. He ordered their wings clipped so they couldn’t escape.

“The Tower ravens mythology is likely to be nothing more than a Victorian flight of fancy.” according to scoffers who claim none of the legends are true.

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