Home is where the heart is (Erwarton)


The heart of a Queen nonetheless. Anne Boleyn's heart. Reputed to be buried within the Cornwallis vault that sits beneath the organ of Erwarton church.

It seems that where your heart ends up matters, even if that is a sentimental notion; and legend has it that Anne wanted hers to come back to the Shotley peninsula where she had been happiest as a child.

Suspending my disbelief I feel a great deal of sympathy with that notion. The peninsula has a very special atmosphere and I can think of far worse places to rest up. Driving out I pass church after church that I was itching to stop and look in, but I was already nearly an hour from home and the light was fading. I hadn't phoned ahead, I had little petrol and less phone battery.






So back to the narrative;  if Anne's uncle by marriage Sir Philip Parker did bring her heart back I wonder how he petitioned for it, and how it was given to him. The heart of an adulteress, incestuous, traitorous witch. Can I get a receipt for that?



Which is why I'm not convinced her heart is here - such a high profile prisoner would have left some kind of documentary reference should her heart have been released from her body.  But let us keep up the theme and speculate that maybe the seat of Anne's passion returned in a ship.


Because while there may or may not be a heart there are certainly ships at Erwarton. Faint echoes of ships locked away behind the panels that partition off the newly refurbished tower. Hulls, masts, rigging...all sea faring and ready for the off.




Ship graffiti reworked by M. Champion Norfolk/Suffolk medieval graffiti survey
 
These ships are old, but just to maintain the pedigree, there are some newer nautical scratches on the pews.
 
 
I find this graffiti while I'm waiting for the most lovely lady to come and open up. It seems that she has heard of the survey, and we gossip easily. She even lets me run up and down the tower while she waits and the dark gathers over the water.
 
 
After the ships there is a small amount of graffiti in the nave to capture.
 
A caricature...
kids flying kites..
 
.a date and set of initials
 
 
 
A shield scored with a few tally marks.
 
Finally the modern stuff. Look, there are hearts after all!

 
When I leave I ask my phone to find me a petrol station. With it's last flicker of battery it confidently informs me that the nearest petrol station is 2.7 miles away - in Harwich - over the estuary...
 
where is a ship when you need one?