Tower of London Menagerie in United Kingdom

Tower of London Menagerie
Closed down1853
CountryUnited Kingdom

Directors?-1853: Alfred Cops
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Tower of London Menagerie, in London, United Kingdom, was founded in 1235. Tower of London Menagerie closed down in 1853 in London, .

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There is evidence that King John (1166–1216) first started keeping wild animals at the Tower from 1204. Records of 1210–1212 show payments to lion keepers, but officially, The Tower of Londons Menagerie was founded in 1235 when the Holy Roman Emperor gave Englands Henry III three leopards.

Numerous orders issued in this and the succeeding reigns to the sheriffs of London and of the counties of Bedford and Buckingham to provide for the maintenance of the animals and their keepers are extant among the Records. In 1255 they were directed to build a house in the Tower for an elephant which had been presented to the king by Louis king of France; and a second writ occurs in which they were ordered to provide necessaries for him and his keepers.

At some point during his reign, Henri IV of France had been sent an Indian elephant. He found the elephant too expensive to feed, though, so he sent it on to Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth I is also the first monarch to open the menagerie to the public.

The elephant house eventually was converted into prison cells.

The menagerie kept up there until at least 1828, but when When Alfred Cops died in 1853, the Lion Tower was torn down.

References for records about Tower of London Menagerie

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2021). Tower of London Menagerie, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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This document was updated: 2021-07-27 14:37:27

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