Where is Anne Boleyn’s heart….?

According to this article Anne Boleyn’s heart was not buried with her, but somewhere else, as yet unknown/unconfirmed.

I confess to being startled, because I hadn’t heard of this before, but it seems two places in England vie for being the heart’s resting place. They are the Church of St Mary in Ewarton, Suffolk, and the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Salle, Norfolk (see the above illustration).

Nor does anyone know who ordered her heart’s removal, if indeed it was. Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII‘s top creature and fixer-upper? Some say it was Henry himself, but somehow I can’t see him doing such a thing, because it not only suggests lingering feelings for Anne, but also creates a mystery around her. Maybe even risking a cult. Henry wanted Anne forgotten, and I think Thomas Cromwell would have taken the royal hint and left well alone. One didn’t thwart Henry’s wishes! Well, that’s my opinion. So . . . who might have done it?

Ewarton was supposedly a place of which Anne had been fond as a child, although I don’t know if this is true either. However, in the middle of the 19th century, a heart-shaped casket was indeed found at St Mary’s. It was filled with black dust, which was taken to be the decomposed remains of Anne’s heart. The casket has been re buried, and a plaque placed there explaining about it. But no one can say for certain that the black dust is all that’s left of a heart, or whose heart it was.

Salle, however, also claims to have Anne’s heart, and goes even further by claiming to have all her remains!

As I said at the beginning of this, I don’t know anything about it, but it’s an intriguing story, and the link indicated above will tell you a lot more.

The illustrations above are taken from the article.


  1. I heard the story that the whole of Anne Boleyn’s remains were buried at Salle from a National Trust room guide at Blickling Hall, Norfolk, which is reputed to be the birthplace of Anne. Of course, I then had to go on a trek to Salle to see the alleged burial place for myself. Sure enough, as the room guide had told me, there was, in the central aisle, a large, blank black slab, uninscribed. It was placed in line with two others belonging to Anne’s Norfolk Boleyn ancestors, one of whom, Geoffrey Boleyn, had been the author of the Boleyn family’s upward progress in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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