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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.

Opening times

The museum is open daily from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm

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***The Museum will be closed on the 17th and 18th of October, 2017***


Find us

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

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Victorian surgery talk

Every 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.

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Visiting us

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.

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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

From our cabinet of curiosities!  #Welcometothepast  #urbandecay #urbexworld #streetmobs #kings_abandoned #decay #abandonment_issues #urbexpeople #sfx_decay #rsa_preciousjunk #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #tv_colors #stilllife #todays_simplicity #tv_living #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #seekthesimplicity #loves_vscolifestyle #liveforthemoment #handsinframe #storyofmytable
Be surprised by what you can see at the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret! #Welcometothepast  #urbandecay #urbexworld #streetmobs #kings_abandoned #decay #abandonment_issues #urbexpeople #sfx_decay #rsa_preciousjunk #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #tv_colors #stilllife #todays_simplicity #tv_living #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #seekthesimplicity #loves_vscolifestyle #liveforthemoment #handsinframe #storyofmytable
Look at how the light falls over these wonderful #apothecary bottles! Why not stop by today and see them for yourself?  #Welcometothepast
#nothingisordinary #oldoperatingtheatremuseum #herbgarret #still_life_gallery #flatlay #tv_colors #stilllife #todays_simplicity #tv_living #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #seekthesimplicity #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #visualmobs #theglobewanderer #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked

Photo by @ioreth.ni.balor
Kick-start your #Halloween season the best way with a talk on the Night of the #Bodysnatchers! Book today! #histmed
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