England, London Guide (B): Ravens Protect the Tower of London

Ravens Protect the Tower of London
On a recent trip to the Tower of London I became curious about the huge black birds hopping around the ground or sitting on sign posts. As it turns out, they were actually protecting their country. According to legend, if they ever leave the Tower, the Crown and Britain will surely fall. So it’s really important that these birds hang around.

There are several versions of the tale of the Tower ravens. This is mine…

Welsh Myth

Our story starts with a Welsh myth that tells of a giant king called Brân whose name means “raven” in Welsh. Brân was a mighty warrior, but alas, he was killed in battle. With his last breath he gave instructions for his head to be buried in London. His men faithfully complied and buried Brân the Raven’s head on the white hill (where the Tower of London now stands). It was positioned to face toward France, where the Raven could watch and protect the shores of Britain from invasion.

As time passed, the idea of a raven protecting the Tower, which had at first referred to the buried warrior’s head, became associated with the birds of the same name.

Brân the Raven, Mythological King

Charles II

Now let’s jump ahead to the seventeenth century and the time of Charles II. King Charles was a patron of the arts and sciences. He appointed a royal astronomer who set up his office and telescope in the round turret of the Tower of London. At this time, there were many wild ravens in London and they often flew over and around the ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Ravens Protect the Tower of London
Guide Location: England » London
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Tower of London  
Author: Margo Lestz
Read it on author's website: https://curiousrambler.com/2018/08/10/ravens-protect-the-tower-of-london/

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