The Tower of London is closed on 24-26 December 2017 and 01 January 2018.

Royal beasts

For 600 years, wild and exotic creatures were held captive here by kings and queens.

For 600 years, wild and exotic creatures were held captive here by kings and queens.

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.

Learn about the polar bear who fished in the Thames for his lunch, the ostrich who 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

As you explore around the Tower of London, you will see many life-size sculptures of menagerie animals by artist, Kendra Haste.
What animals can you find? 

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.

Explore what's on

Iron spikes descending from a stone arch, a portcullis

Over the centuries there have been many battles at the Tower of London. Explore the Tower’s early years as a formidable historic fortress.

Open Daily

Things to see
Live interpreters in the Medieval Palace at the Tower of London.

Step inside the luxurious lodgings of two kings, meticulously re-created in the Medieval Palace at the Tower of London.

Open daily

Things to see

Prepare to be entertained by captivating stories of pain and passion, treachery and torture on the Yeoman Warder guided tours at the Tower.

Tours daily, every 30 minutes

Tours and talks

1 hour

Browse more history and stories

Cut out and make the oldest zoo in London. From lions to polar bears, meet the royal beasts of the Tower of London.

Royal Beasts cut out book

Cut out and make the oldest zoo in London. From lions to polar bears, meet the royal beasts of the Tower of London.

£4.99

Rich in history, the Tower of London, a World Heritage Site, is one of London's most famous buildings. Discover its secrets with this fascinating book.

The story of the Tower of London

Rich in history, the Tower of London, a World Heritage Site, is one of London's most famous buildings. Discover its secrets with this fascinating book.

£19.95

Delightful children's guide book packed full of fascinating stories and amusing illustrations.

Tower Power: Children's guide to the Tower of London

Delightful children's guide book packed full of fascinating stories and amusing illustrations.

£4.99