Whittington Castle, Shropshire

The Story Behind the Image - Whittington Castle

Whittington Castle has nothing to do with Dick Whittington, famously three-times Lord Mayor of London. Rather, it owes its name to its location in the pretty Shropshire town of Whittington.

The castle is unusual in that it is, as far as I know, the only castle in England to be completely owned by the local community.

The best-preserved part of the castle is the gatehouse, seen here, with two D-shaped towers flanking an arched entrance passage and reached by a stone bridge over a wide moat.

I thought that the gatehouse would be a good subject for a photo, so I walked around the outside of the moat to find a good angle. What I hadn't anticipated was that a large swan would follow me, hoping for food handouts.

As the swan got closer it spied something in the water and stretched out its long neck. I snapped the shutter at precisely that moment. I love the graceful curve of the swan's neck and how its body seems to lead my eye to the imposing castle gateway.

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