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 Ann Boleyn. It is known that Ann 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 Ann 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. n 1838 a heart-shaped casket containing dust was found buried in the north wall of St Mary’s Church. The casket was re-buried under the organ.
The Hall is in private ownership and not open to the public.History: Between 1906 and 1918 the area saw the last outbreak of plague in England. This happened on the Shotley peninsular and in Trimley, now part of Felixstowe. A total of 22 people were affected, 6 recovered, the rest died. On 8 June 1918, Mrs Annie Mary Bugg of Warren Lane Cottages, Erwarton aged 52, fell ill and died on 13 June 1918 and was buried in Erwarton church yard. No sign of her grave can be found now. On 16 June 1918 Bugg's neighbour Mrs Gertrude Allice Garrod, aged 42, of Warren Lane Cottages also fell ill and died on 19 June 1918, and was also buried at Erwarton graveyard. Her gravestone can still be found there.
Henry Berners (1769 - 1852), clergyman and Archdeacon of Suffolk lived here.>
Monuments within St. Mary's church date from the 13th century, although the present building is largely 15th century. A copy of a drawing of Queen Anne Boleyn by Holbein is attached to the 1912 organ. Under the organ is a note stating "...after her execution in the Tower of London, 19 May 1536, it was recorded that her heart was buried in this church by her Uncle, Sir Philip Parker of Erwarton Hall". In 1837 a leaden casket was discovered in the church which, by tradition, is believed to contain Boleyn's heart, although there was no inscription. The church baptismal font is adorned with a rather distinctive example of a Tudor Rose. The church tower was strengthened in the 1800s after damage by lightning, but by 2012 was in desperate need of repair.