When

  • Open daily

Ticketing info

Included in palace admission

Surprising animals kept at the Tower of London

From lions, tigers, monkeys and elephants, to zebras, alligators, bears and kangaroos, explore the tales of the many exotic animals kept at the Tower for over 600 years.

Learn about the polar bear who fished in the Thames for his lunch, the ostrich that ate nails and many other surprising stories.

Interactive multimedia displays allow you to experience the sights, sounds, and even smells of the animals! You will also find out what happened when they escaped...

Status symbols and extravagant gifts

Founded by King John in the early 1200s, the Royal Menagerie became home to more than 60 species of animal.

This began a long tradition of kings and queens keeping exotic animals as symbols of power and for the entertainment and curiosity of the court.

Animals were also exchanged throughout Europe as regal gifts, but sadly, they were often mistreated.

Life-size animal sculptures

If you look around, you will see many life-size sculptures of menagerie animals around the Tower by artist, Kendra Haste.

Other institutions at the Tower

The Royal Menagerie was one of the many institutions founded at the Tower of London. Others include The Royal Mint and The Royal Observatory. While some organisations moved out and other functions ceased, many operated for hundreds of years.

Join Siobhan Clarke for an exclusive tour of this revolutionary building.

Selected dates

Banqueting House

Attend a unique programme of talks at the magnificent Hampton Court Palace.

From 23 Mar 2017

Hampton Court Palace

Doors open: 18.30 Event starts: 18.50 Event finish: 20.00

Built between 1526 and 1529, the royal tennis courts at Hampton Court Palace were used regularly by Henry VIII and you can view them as part of your visit.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace
Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.

Medieval armour - gauntlets

Gauntlets inspired by Gothic armour popular during the late 15th century. Fully articulated and constructed from polished steel.

£150.00