'If the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall...'
It is said that the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. There are seven ravens at the Tower today — the required six, plus one spare!
The names of our current Tower ravens are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina. Ravens are intelligent birds and each of ours has its own personality; they can mimic sounds, play games and solve problems. See if you can spot some of their fascinating behaviour on your visit.
Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the ravens of the Tower be protected after he was warned that the crown and the Tower itself would fall if they left.
The King's order was given against the wishes of his astronomer, John Flamsteed, who complained the ravens impeded the business of his observatory in the White Tower.
The ravens are free to roam the Tower precincts during the day and preside over four different territories within the Tower's walls.
Their lodgings can be found next to the Wakefield Tower, where you can find out more about them and perhaps see them on the South Lawn.
You might even be lucky enough to 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.
These magnificent birds respond only to the Ravenmaster and should not be approached too closely by anyone else.
The Ravenmaster occasionally trims some of the ravens' primary and secondary flight feathers to encourage them to stay at the Tower. All the Tower ravens are able to fly but, with careful feather management, plenty of food and a comfortable new enclosure, they are happy to call the Tower their home.
However, some ravens have gone absent without leave in the past and others have even been sacked. Raven Munin flew off to Greenwich and was eventually returned by a vigilant member of the public after seven days. Raven George was dismissed for eating television aerials and Raven Grog was last seen outside an East End pub.
The ravens are fed twice a day by our Ravenmaster and dine on a special diet of mice, chicks, rats and assorted raw meats. As a special treat, they are given biscuits soaked in blood.
Discover the stories of the ravens at the Tower of London as told by our resident Ravenmaster, Chris Skaife.
Meet Poppy, our new raven here at the Tower of London! Poppy is our youngest raven and arrived in May 2018.
Here, Chris Skaife, Tower of London Ravenmaster explains what it takes to introduce a new raven to the Tower.
Become one of the Tower of London's most notorious residents with this dramatic black raven dress up children's cape. Inspired by the ravens at the Tower this fun fancy dress cape is perfect for a Halloween and dress up parties!
This luxury hand embroidered black raven decoration features one of the famous Tower of London ravens and is embellished with silver metal threads and black sequins