At the beginning of the month we visited Knaresborough Castle and had the amazing fortune of meeting the Knaresborough Ravens with their Raven Master. We had an interesting chat with her and found out all about the history of the castle and how the Ravens got to be there. She told us that:
“Not many people realise that Knaresborough Castle is actually a royal castle, King John to King Edward’s the 2nd and 3rd have stayed here, to this very day the castle still belongs to the English monarchy as part of the Duchy of Lancaster. This confuses a lot of our visitors. Why is a Lancastrian castle in Yorkshire? It has nothing to do with counties. The Duchy of Lancaster refers to the House of Lancaster, to the Tudor dynasty.
In 1999, I acquired a raven who was named after the main character in a children’s book I had written, at the time I knew the then raven master Mr Cope at the Tower of London. He was very helpful. I love history, and Knaresborough has so much, but many local children are not interested, I wanted to change all that, so made my story revolve around several historical places in Knaresborough, the castle, The House in the Rock, The Chapel of the Lady of the Crag, and of course Saint Roberts Cave where my story starts. My idea was to go into local schools to encourage children to read this story, and then learn the true history of the various places. I also wanted to take Ravenelf with me, but was unable to get the necessary public liability insurance.
He suggested I approach the Duchy of Lancaster, and the local borough council to see if I could take Ravenelf into the castle grounds, because then I could use the insurance that Birds of Prey displays use , only my cover would be for a raven. Not only did I get the relevant insurance, but I got permission from both the Duchy and the council.
Then the following year again with advice from Ravenmaster Cope, I put forward the idea of being a Northern version of the Tower of London to celebrate the millennium, as the castle was part of the crown estate. This was well received and not only that but we got a royal raven chick from the Tower of London. So was born Knaresborough castle ravens. We were only going to be at the castle for a year, but the ravens went down so well we have been there for 15 years, we had a collection of 13 ravens but sadly that now stands at seven ravens.”
To read more go to http://knaresboroughcastleravens.webs.com/
We got to meet some of the Ravens and learn about their individual characters, one of which, an African one, instead of being all black has a white neck and breast and is often mistaken as a Magpie. Best of all we even got to hold one of them! The majesty and power of these birds made it a truly magical experience. I have always felt drawn to Raven energy so for me it really made my dreams come true to meet and hold one. Interestingly as they are still only young birds they are only 1/3 of their adult size. I look forward to visiting them again and seeing them as grow to full size.
If you are in the area and would like to meet her she is there Wednesdays and Saturdays through the Summer.
Raven medicine teaches us about the magical act of creation, internal magic and transformation along with miracle of a rebirth. Raven tells us to be aware of omens that become a harbinger of the mystical and exotic. He can show how to stir life without fear and teach to balance life’s playful aspects. Raven also brings in the light of awareness and knowledge with opportunities of great changes that are in store for you. Raven will teach how to usher in these new energies. He shows how to dive into the depths of the inner being to illuminate the true self. Are you ready to uncover past conflicts and long forgotten emotional issues? Raven will teach how to transform your spirit. From the deepest part of you healing begins. What has been in darkness will now emerge into the light.