Guardians of the Tower: The mystique of London’s legendary ravens

Guardians of the Tower: The mystique of London's legendary ravens.

Guardians of the Tower: The mystique of London's legendary ravens. Image: Tower of London / Facebook.

Within the historic Tower of London, resides a fascinating group of feathered residents: the ravens.

These birds have captivated the imaginations of both locals and tourists.

They hold a special place in the folklore and superstitions surrounding the Tower.

According to legend, the presence of these ravens serves as a protective charm for the Crown and the Tower itself.

It’s believed that if the ravens were ever to vanish or leave, it would bring doom not just to the monarchy but to the entire nation of Britain.

This superstition has become ingrained in British folklore, although some historians question its historical accuracy.

The origins of this tradition are unclear, with the earliest documented reference to captive ravens at the Tower dating back to an illustration from 1883.

Sceptics, including the Tower’s official historian, suggest that the legend may have been invented by the Victorians rather than based on concrete historical evidence.

Once upon a time, wild ravens roamed the British landscape, including urban areas like London.

However, as their habitats decreased and they faced persecution, the Tower became a sanctuary for them.

With official support, the ravens found refuge within the Tower’s walls, where they were and still to this day looked after by the Ravenmaster and his team of assistants.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.