The Guardians of the Tower

'If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall...'

'If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall...'

When

  • Open daily

Ticketing information

Included in palace admission Buy Tower of London tickets

Legend of the ravens

It is said the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. According to the stories, it was Charles II who first insisted the ravens of the Tower be protected. This was against the wishes of his astronomer, John Flamsteed, who complained the ravens impeded the business of his observatory in the White Tower.

Despite the painless clipping of one wing, some ravens do in fact go absent without leave and others have even been sacked. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub.

Spot the ravens at the Tower

There are seven ravens at the Tower today - the required six, plus one spare! Their lodgings can be found next to the Wakefield Tower.

These magnificent birds, large members of the genus Corvus, the crow family, respond only to the Ravenmaster and should not be approached too closely by anyone else.

The ravens preside over four different territories within the Tower precincts. See if you can spot them on your visit.

Biscuits and blood

The ravens are fed by our Ravenmaster and dine on a special diet of raw meat, and blood covered bird biscuits. They also enjoy an egg once a week, the occasional rabbit (complete with fur) and scraps of fried bread. Some lucky visitors may witness the ravens snacking - but please be careful and do not feed the ravens yourself, as they can bite if they feel their territory is being threatened.

Learn more about the ravens

'The ravens eat 170g of raw meat a day, plus bird biscuits soaked in blood.'

The Ravenmaster

View of the White Tower exterior

Marvel at the imposing White Tower, a magnificent example of Norman architecture at the heart of the Tower of London.

Open daily

Things to see Highlights
A Yeoman Warder adjusts his medals on his bright red traditional uniform

Discover captivating stories of pain and passion, treachery and torture on the Yeoman Warder tours at the Tower of London.

Tours daily, every 30 minutes.

Tours and talks

1 hour. Last tour of the day starts 15:30 (summer)

Young boy looking towards the imperial state crown in the Crown Jewels exhibition

Prepare to be dazzled by this breathtaking, world famous collection of 23,578 gemstones at the Tower of London.

Open daily

Things to see

Allow one hour

Browse more history and stories

Raven soft toy

Raven soft toy

Winston is the oldest and wisest of the Raven family. A slightly pompous professor, he takes his work very seriously, educating children about the Tower of London and trying to keep the rest of the ravens in line! Dressed in his Yeoman Warder costume, this cuddly Winston the Raven can leave the Tower of London!

£14.99

500 facts about Tudor King Henry VIII of England, one of Hampton Court Palace's most famous residents.

Henry VIII: 500 Facts

500 facts about Tudor King Henry VIII of England, one of Hampton Court Palace's most famous residents.

£12.99

Henry VIII teddy bear

Henry VIII teddy bear

Henry VIII bear, named after Hampton Court Palace's notorious resident King Henry VIII, in a traditional Tudor costume. Suitable for little princes and princesses aged three years and above. Measures 28cm.

£14.99