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New drawbridge installed in the Tower of London

A new drawbridge has been installed in the Tower of London for the first time since 1978 following five months of construction.

Yeomen Warders oversee the Tower of London's new custom built drawbridge Credit: PA Images

The iconic feature has undergone various adaptions, including the last time it was completely replaced in 1915.

The drawbridge was originally created in 1834, to allow munitions to be brought into the basement, but it was dismantled in 1843 on the orders of the then Constable of the Tower of London, the Duke of Wellington, who deemed it to be noxious.

The working drawbridge, which takes around four minutes to raise, will be used for educational purposes.


Tower of London: "We take the welfare of our ravens very seriously"

The Tower of London say the killing of two of its ravens by foxes was the first time they have been attacked in a number of years, with most of its ravens living long and healthy lives.

In recent years there have been no fatalities due to foxes, a natural raven predator, and the ravens are put to bed each evening in secure enclosures to minimise these risks. However, sadly, in May 2013 a fox captured two of the ravens before they were put to bed.

We take the welfare of the ravens seriously and have been reviewing our current pest control measures.

– Tower of London spokesperson

They say ravens at the Tower usually live longer than those in the wild - with the oldest one on record reaching 44 years.

Improvements for the ravens' facilities at the Tower are being put in place throughout the Autumn, including a redesign of their nighttime enclosure.

Tower of London ravens killed by foxes

The Tower of London is beefing up its pest control measures after two of its resident ravens were killed by foxes - putting the future of the Royal Family in jeopardy according to legend.

One of the Tower's resident ravens watches over some new Beefeater recruits

The birds are known as "Guardians of the Tower" following superstition that there should always be six of them or the monarchy, the kingdom and the Tower itself will fall. King Charles II took the myth so seriously that he made the need for six ravens into a royal decree, which still stands today.

However, it's emerged that two of the ravens were attacked and killed by foxes earlier this year - but luckily the Tower keep eight of them just to be extra safe.

The ravens, named Jubilee and Grip, were snatched just before they were due to be locked in their cages overnight.

Tower of London staff say they are now looking into their measures to protect the ravens, and have since replaced them with two others of the same name.

Tower Beach opens to the public

Over this weekend, the Tower of London will be giving people access to Tower Beach. It's part of the 'Fun on the Foreshore' event being run by the City of London Archaeological Society (COLAS).

Tower of London. Credit: Sophie Duval/EMPICS Entertainment

Weather and tide permitting, the beach will be accessible between 11.30am-1.30pm on 27th July and from 12pm-2pm on 28th July 2013. A team of archaeologists and environmentalists will be accompanying people on the beach, assisting with the identification of finds and answering questions.

They'll also be a host of related activities and games being held between Tower Moat and the river wall from 11am and 4pm on both days.

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