The Tower of London

The Ravens' Legend

Mentioned prominently in the Crown Jewels Conspiracy, the legend of the ravens is a real one. The account of Charles II’s astronomer complaining about the ravens is believed to have occurred. Whether it did or not, the observatory was moved from the White Tower to Greenwich. Though the first records of ravens kept purposely at the Tower only dates from around 1880, there are earlier stories, most notably concerning the executions of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, of ravens being among those observing the horrible events.

Unlike today, ravens were common in England in the Middle Ages. They were undoubtedly attracted to the Tower due to the regular number of executions that occurred there and the castle’s general condition. Interestingly, another story suggests large numbers of ravens scavenged the ruins of London following the Great Fire!

In light of the stories, today a minimum of six ravens are housed inside the Inner Ward.