Yeoman Warder Tower of London

Tower Of London Holds Competition To Name New Raven

The public can choose from four names - Matilda, Branwen, Brontë and Winifred - for the female chick.

Yeoman Warder Tower of London

The Tower of London is holding an online competition to name one of its new chicks joining as a resident raven.

For the third year in a row the Tower's breeding pair of ravens, Huginn and Muninn, have produced offspring.

Ravenmaster Chris Skaife is caring for the four chicks which the Tower said are happy and healthy.

Two of the four babies will join the Tower's raven community, with the Ravenmaster already naming the male chick Edgar, in honour of Edgar Allan Poe, celebrated poet and author of 'The Raven'.

But the name of the female chick joining the Tower is in the hands of the public who can vote online for their favourite from a shortlist of four.

The names have been drawn from history, mythology, and famous tales from the Tower's past.

The names are: Matilda, after a fearsome medieval empress, Branwen, after a deity in Celtic mythology, Brontë, after the Brontë sisters, Winifred, after Winifred Maxwell, remembered for plotting her husband Lord Nithsdale's escape from the Tower in 1716 disguised as a woman, and Florence, after Florence Nightingale.

The two chicks will take the total number of resident ravens to nine, three more than the required minimum of six. 

A superstition, dating back to the reign of Charles II, says that the kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress, with the birds having a wing clipped to ensure they don't stray too far.

Watch: Forces News met the resident ravens and Yeoman Warders in 2019.

The Ravenmaster looking after the birds is one of the 37 Yeoman Warders – also known as Beefeaters – who work at the Tower.

The Yeoman Warders were formed by Henry VII in 1485 and are drawn from the Armed Forces, with a requirement of at least 22 years of service.

Alongside guarding the castle, the Warder role also involves giving guided tours to the Tower's three million visitors a year.

The winning name will be announced on 19 May, to coincide with the Tower of London reopening to the public.

Cover image: Library photo of the Tower of London.