The Royal Menagerie
Founded during the reign of King John in the early 1200s, animals lived at the Tower for over 600 years. Exotic animals were given as royal gifts and animals were kept at the Royal Menagerie for the entertainment and curiosity of the court.
The first royal beasts to arrive at the Tower - the lions, polar bear and elephant - came from Europe and North Africa. In later years, the variety of animals at the Tower increased. Everything from elephants to tigers, kangaroos and ostriches lived in what was known as the Royal Menagerie.
The Royal Beasts exhibition
In the Royal Beasts exhibition in the newly-opened Brick Tower, discover how the Tower would have looked before the animals left in 1832, explore the stories of many of the animals kept at the Tower through interactive displays, experience how animals would have lived, what they smelt like and learn what happened when they escaped.
Modern animal sculpture
Artist Kendra Haste has created life-size sculptures of some of the Tower’s royal beasts. Look out for the three lions crouched by the ruins of the Lion Tower at the main entrance!
Kendra works in wire mesh, which makes the sculptures appear solid and also slightly ghostly at the same time.
Entrance to this magical world is included in your standard admission ticket to the Tower.