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Discover Europe's oldest surviving operating theatre.

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A truly unique space for any event

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Welcome to the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas' Hospital, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients' medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe. Access to the attic is through a narrow 52-step spiral staircase. 

Opening times

The museum is open  Mondays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm & Tues-Sun from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. 

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Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
9a St Thomas Street
London SE1 9RY

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Victorian Surgery Talk

Saturdays at 2:00 PM and Sundays at 12 PM

Presented in the original 1822 operating theatre of St Thomas' Hospital, observe from the same position as a medical student at the time a mock demonstration of surgery before anaesthetics. Operations were limited and had to be quick, and without hand-washing and basic hygiene, the chance of later infection and death was high.

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Shard Museum

Visiting us

The Museum is located in central London, in the historic Borough of Southwark along the same street as the Shard, just south of London Bridge.

Hidden London Surgical Theater Lower

Venue hire

The Museum is a great place for a reception or book launch. It is very atmospheric, which makes it a very special place.

“An amazing treasure trove of Victorian Surgery” Pete M Visitor From Cumbria
“This is a quirky and fascinating museum. Hiding in the shadow of The Shard, it is a true moment for reflection and understanding” Petra S Visitor From Somerset
“Friendly staff, wonderfully thought out, fascinating and unique. We should all visit and support this brilliant little museum” Laura N Visitor From London

Follow us on instagram @oldoperatingtheatre

For our #Fear&Medicine Series, we are collecting our visitors' deepest medical fears in this volume. Have you shared yours already? Would you want to? What are you afraid of when you go to the doctor or the hospital? Which illness makes your skin crawl? Do all people share similar fears? We shall share some of these with you, and you can add to the list in the comments below. Maybe in the end, we will see that we are not alone in our fears!
#oldoperatingtheatre #herbgarret #medicalfears #histmed #histemotions #fear  #bookstagram  #goodreads #booklover #ilovebooks #instabook #booknerdigans #bookstagramfeature #booknerd #bookstagrammer #bookish #booksofinstagram #bookaddict #bookstagramfeature #bookaholic #bookblogger #igreads  #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #londoncollective  #focalmarked
And the winner of our giveaway is........@lone_pirate!!! Check your DMs for details on how to claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who took part, keep an eye out as there will be more to come this year 😜
Breathe in...*the water used with this should be boiling and the inhaler not more than half full*..and breathe out 🗣
🌞 Happy Monday 🌞

#ShopCuriosityoftheWeek We are now down to our LAST copy of The Butchering Art in hardback 🚨 But have no fear a paperback version is now available. @drlindseyfitzharris you spoil us!
Trip Advisor Certificate
Experts Choice 4