Ravens of the Tower of London

Photo added by Nancy Williford Bell

Ravens of the Tower of London

Death unknown
Burial Burial Details Unknown, Specifically: Burial on the Tower of London grounds.
Memorial ID 39135959 View Source

This memorial is to honor the ravens that have lived, been cared for, and died at the Tower of London. Ravens have guarded the Tower since Charles II, but some say they have resided there for centuries before that. Legend has it that if the ravens desert the Tower the monarchy will fall and the White Tower will crumble to dust. Therefore, the monarchy is taking no chances as they house, feed, and care for the ravens in grand style, clipping one flight feather on one wing to make sure they do not fly far. They are able to fly well enough to escape predators, but cannot sustain flight for any great distance.

The Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster, Derrick Coyle, is charged with making sure all are accounted for and receive the care they need. In order to be appointed to the coveted position of Ravenmaster applicants are required to have served 23 yrs. in the military and, obviously, must love birds. There are always at least 6 ravens guarding the Tower, with usually several spares. The current residents and their ages are:

Gwylum (male) aged 17
Thor (male) 14
Hugine (female) 10
Munin (female) 10
Branwen (female) 3
Bran (male) 2
Gundulf (male) 5 months
Baldrick(male) 5 months

The oldest raven to guard the Tower was Joe Hardy, who lived to a ripe old age of 44!

Ravens that have passed away are buried on the Tower grounds and memorialized on a plaque bearing their names and date of death.

Note: The top photograph in this memorial is courtesy of the U.K. Tourist Board. The others were taken by me on a visit to the Tower in April of 2009.

See more Tower of London memorials in: