How Many Ravens Protect the Tower of London?


Quick Answer

The Tower of London is a well-known English castle that has served as a prison, an armory and the home of the Crown Jewels at various times since it was built in the 11th century. “Aviary” could also be added to the list, as the historic fortress is the official home to seven ravens.

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How Many Ravens Protect the Tower of London?
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Full Answer

Legend suggests that ravens have lived in the Tower of London since at least the reign of King Charles II from 1660-1685. The king’s royal astronomer is said to have complained about the tower-dwelling ravens interrupting his observations, but the king was told that if the ravens were forced to leave, the Tower would fall and he would lose the kingdom. The king allegedly ordered that six ravens (plus a seventh backup raven) were to guard the Tower at all times.

Regardless of how long captive ravens have been kept at the Tower, their story remains popular among tourists who hope to see the birds. However, only the Raven Master is permitted to feed and care for the large birds; as a result, they only respond to him, and a few of the ravens can actually mimic his voice. Visitors can usually spot the ravens from a safe distance at four different areas on the grounds.

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