Yeomen Warders

I don't think they're in charge of executions anymore

Even if you’ve never been to London, I’m sure you’ve seen these guys. Bright red and dark blue tunics, funny hats, they look like you’ve suddenly stepped back in time at the gates of the Tower of London. In a way you have. Back in 1485, the new king Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty formed the Yeomen Warders as his bodyguards. When the king moved his court from the Tower, he left twelve Yeomen to guard the garrison. Today they are ceremonial guardians of the Tower and the Crown jewels, and tour guides. For 700 years, the Ceremony of the Keys has been performed every night to secure the Tower gates. If you book early, you can watch this incredible ceremony complete with rifles and yelling. Sounds like a good time to me!

Warders are often referred to as Beefeaters. No one really knows where the term came from, but most think is comes from their right to eat as much beef as they wanted from the King’s table.Ravens_8403

The Ravensmaster is responsible for looking after the ravens of the Tower. Since the time of King Charles II, the ravens have been a part of the grounds, and legend has it that should the birds ever leave, the monarchy will crumble. To ensure this never happens, the ravens wings are clipped. They’re also said to be the real beefeaters since they are the only ones to still receive a daily ration of beef.

All warders are retired military with at least 22 years of experience, and hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. In 2007 the warders welcomed the very first female to their ranks. All warders and their families may live on the Tower grounds, some rooms dating back to the 13th century.


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

4 Comments

  1. Kathleen Rouser

    I’d say Henry VII had a not-so-secret service. With hats and weapons like that it would be hard to blend in! While living on the tower grounds sounds cool, I’m wondering how musty their quarters are? Another very interesting post, J’nell!

    (Sorry about the repeat links to my blog, btw. That was an accident. I messed up somewhere!)

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Maybe it was more a show of might than being secretive. I could see them going after people making fun of their hats. Yes, I imagine their quarters are very musty, but how cool would it be to say you lived there?!

      Reply
  2. Lisa Betz

    Speaking of the Tower and the ravens, have you read The Ravenmaster’s Secret by Elvira Woodruff?

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I have not. Does he know who killed the two princes???

      Reply

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