Tower of London
ABOVE: The Tower's Raven Master, Derrick
Coyle, with one of
his charges. INSET: A bird poses for tourists.
The Tower Ravens
Nobody knows when ravens first came to the Tower of London, but
they've been associated with the Tower for centuries. Legend dictates that, if
the ravens ever leave, the Tower will fall and the Kingdom will fall, so Charles
II decreed that there must always be at least six ravens at the Tower. That
tradition has been honored for more than 300 years.
If you're an aficionado of raven trivia, take a moment to
memorize these facts and figures about the Tower's avian mascots:
Seven ravens currently live at the Tower. Three are females;
four are males. The two newest birds, Bran and Branwen, joined the team in
Occasionally, birds are dismissed for bad behavior. George
was exiled to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in 1986 after developing an unhealthy
taste for TV antennas, while two other ravens were banished in 1996 for
"conduct unbecoming Tower residents."
(The information above was supplied by the Tower's press office,
whose staff are on good terms with their feathered colleagues.)
Ceremony of the Keys
© HRP. Used by permission.