A group of six captive ravens live at the Tower of London. Their presence is traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the tower; a superstition holds that "if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it".
Historically, wild ravens were common throughout Britain, even in towns, the tower being within their natural range. When they were exterminated from much of their traditional range, including London, they could only exist at the tower in captivity and with official support. Local legend puts the origin of the captive raven population at the time of King Charles II (reigned 1660–85). Some historians believe the "tower's raven mythology is likely to be a Victorian flight of fantasy". The ravens at the tower were specially bred in Somerset.
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