A talk about how society views death and how it deals with the practical problem of what to do with its dead.
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.
The museum is open daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Starting on April, 2018, the museum will close on Mondays, except Bank Holidays.
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Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
9a St Thomas Street
London SE1 9RY
Victorian surgery talkEvery Saturday 2:00pm
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.Find out more
What's onSee more
A talk by author Ruth Richardson on the topic of death and the body in 19th century England.
An intensive revision workshop for Key Stage 4 students studying the Medicine Through Time GCSE History series.
The Museum is located in central London, in the historic Borough of Southwark, on the same street as the Shard, just south of London Bridge.
St Thomas' Church, the Herb Garret, and the Operating Theatre
The Museum is a great place for a reception or book launch. It is very atmospheric, which makes it a very special place.
St Thomas’ is one of London’s oldest hospitals. It has been providing shelter and relief to the sick and needy since the twelfth century.
“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