According to legend, Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII often stayed at Erwarton Hall in Suffolk and Anne loved the place so much that she gave instructions that her heart should be buried in the local church. In 1838, during renovations at St Mary’s church, a heart-shaped casket was found set into an alcove in the north aisle. A plaque at the church explains how this casket was reburied beneath the church organ. Legend has it that Sir Philip Parker of Erwarton Hall, Anne’s uncle, was the one who buried Anne’s heart there.
On a website about Shotley (, it says of Erwarton Hall:-
"Erwarton Hall was built during the late sixteenth century, and is said to have been one of the first great English country houses to be built in brick. It also has a superb gatehouse, which was built about 100 year after the main building. The hall has strong historical links with Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife. The original Tudor mansion was owned by Sir Philip Calthorpe whose wife was Aunt to Anne Boleyn. It is known that Anne spent some of her childhood at the Hall and it is thought likely that Henry VIII visited her there. The two wings were demolished by the new owner, Sir Philip Parker, and the materials used to rebuild the main part in 1575. It changed hands again in 1786 to William Berners. The legend of Anne Boleyn’s heart being buried in Erwarton perhaps began when she is reputed to have said shortly before her execution that the happiest days of her life were spent at the Hall."
If it was built in the late 16th century then Anne and Henry could not have visited it, so I think that the website is referring to the rebuilding work which was done in 1575. Anne Boleyn's paternal aunt, Jane Boleyn, did indeed marry Sir Philip Calthorpe so Anne may well have visited the hall.



  1. i believe that history on anne boleyn go back further

  2. Mary the Quene says:

    I’m not sure how common it was in the sixteenth century to request specific body parts be buried apart from the body whole; this legend sounds both a romantic fable as well as truth being stranger than fiction. A common sense question would be how and when Anne Boleyn’s heart left her body to catch the train to Shotley.

  3. Dudley of Essex says:

    Surely she would have caught the trian to Parkeston Quay and travelled from ther

  4. Sia says:

    I believe the gatehouse was in character with the building, if not before so, in fact the style reminds me of the Wolsey gate near Ipswich docks.

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