Legend of the Raven

Legend says that the kingdom of Great Britain, the Tower of London and the British Monarchy will all fall if the resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Wild ravens have inhabited the Tower of London for many centuries, according to folklore they were first attracted there by the corpses of the executed enemies of the Crown.

However; The Druids and ancient Britons had a Raven god called Bran and thought of the ravens as avatars of Bran. White Hill (where the Tower now stands) was considered a sacred spot by the Druids.

An early story that connects the Tower of London with a raven is the tale of the mutually destructive battle between the Irish king Matholwch and Bendigeidfran (King of the Britons). Matholwch had allegedly mistreated Bendigeidfran’s sister, the princess Branwen.  The victorious Bendigeidfran ordered his followers to cut off Matholwch’s head and bury it beneath the White Hill facing out towards France as a talisman to protect England from foreign invasion( Ravens have been there ever since).

However; this talisman did not stop the French from invading England and in 1066 the Normans began their conquest and somewhat ironically, built fortifications on the very spot.  The fortress was expanded by subsequent generations of English monarchs. In time the Tower became the storerooms of the English Crown Jewels and a notorious prison for enemies of the Crown.

At the execution of Anne Boleyn in 1535, “Even the ravens of the Tower sat silent and immovable on the battlements and gazed eerily at the strange scene. A Queen about to die.”(sic)

It was King Charles II who first insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected and ordered that six birds be kept at the Tower. In World War II, during the Blitz, ravens were being used as unofficial spotters for enemy bombs and planes , only one raven was able to survive the hardships of the bombing, so the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, ordered more ravens to be brought in, “in order to bring the flock up to the correct size.”

The Tower ravens are enlisted as soldiers of the Kingdom, and were issued attestation cards in the same manner as British soldiers and police. As is the case of soldiers, the ravens can, and have been, dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct.

“Legend of the Raven” is made of 18 Karat yellow gold and sterling silver. It is set with diamonds and hand carved sardonyx .The raven is removable from the pedestal and can be worn as a broach.