The ravens

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

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

When

Open 19 May


Ticketing information

See our adult ravens as part of your day admission ticket to the Tower of London.


Included in palace admission (members go free)

Buy Tower of London tickets

Meet the famous ravens at the Tower of London and learn more about why they are known as the guardians of the Tower, at their lodgings on the South Lawn.

The names of our current Tower ravens are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Georgie. 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.

The legend of the Tower ravens

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!

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.

See the ravens at the Tower of London

The ravens are free to roam the Tower precincts during the day and preside over four different territories within the Tower's walls.

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.

Meet our new ravens

We’re delighted to be welcoming two of them to join the Tower’s legendary corvid community!

Name our raven

For the third year in a row the Tower of London’s breeding pair of ravens Huginn and Muninn have produced chicks! Ravenmaster Chris Skaife is caring for four happy and healthy chicks, more than expected, and we will be welcoming two of them to join the Tower’s legendary corvid community. Our new arrivals will take the total number of resident ravens to a reassuring nine, three more than the required minimum of six. 

The Ravenmaster has already named our new baby boy raven Edgar, in honour of Edgar Allan Poe, celebrated poet and author of ‘The Raven’. But what about our other new recruit, a baby girl? We need you to help us #NameOurRaven!

Vote for your favourite name from Ravenmaster Chris's shortlist of names, drawn from history, mythology, and famous tales from the Tower’s past, using the form below.

  • Matilda
    Named after fearsome medieval monarch Empress Matilda, who battled her cousin Stephen of Blois over her claim to the English throne in the 1130s and 40s.
  • Branwen
    Named after the deity from Celtic mythology, whose name translates as ‘Blessed Raven’.
  • Brontë
    Named after 19th-century literary legends the Brontë sisters, who authored some of Britain’s best-loved Gothic novels including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
  • Winifred
    Named after Winifred Maxwell, Countess of Nithsdale, remembered for plotting her husband Lord Nithsdale’s incredible escape from the Tower in 1716 disguised as a woman.
  • Florence
    Named after Florence Nightingale, pioneering British nurse and social reformer, and namesake of the UK’s NHS Nightingale critical care hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We’ll announce the winning name on Wednesday 19 May, the same day we lower the drawbridge and welcome visitors back to the Tower!

Which name should we give to our new baby raven?

Select from one of the options





 

Having been closed to visitors since 2020, the Tower of London has been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic, which saw its visitor income drop by 85%. If you’re in the UK and would like to help support the costs of caring for our historic landmark and its iconic raven residents, text RAVENS to 70085 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.

Or if you would like to support us from the USA, find out how you can do so here.

Caring for our ravens

Discover the stories of the ravens at the Tower of London as told by our resident Ravenmaster, Chris Skaife.

A close view of the upper three-quarters of a resident Tower raven. 

According to legend, the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Traditionally, King Charles II first decreed that the Tower ravens should be protected.

Why are the ravens' wing feathers trimmed?

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 Muninn 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.

A diet of meat, biscuits and blood

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.

Four baby ravens born at the Tower

Meet the four raven chicks that were born as part of the Tower of London's breeding programme in 2019, in this short video.

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From £7.99

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