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Royal beasts exhibition coming to Tower of London

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 March 2011

The Royal Beasts exhibition

The Royal Beasts exhibition

Archant

Forget the merciless kings and queens - the Tower of London was once associated with beasts of a different kind.

Tigers, eagles, grizzly bears and alligators were just some of the creatures to have lived within the fortress’s high walls.

Since the reign of King John in the early 1200s, exotic beasts and birds from all over the world were housed at the tower to show off the might and power of the monarchs of the time.

Historical Royal Palaces, the charity which looks after the tower, has just announced an exhibition on the beasts, which will open in May.

Royal menageries started in Europe during the early medieval times.

Increasingly exotic beasts from far flung corners of the globe would be offered as royal gifts.

The exhibition explains how the animals were fed, watered and housed.

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