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. 

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We are OPEN

It’s official, we are open every Friday and Saturday, from 10.30am until 5pm with staggered entry at 15 minute intervals.

Please book tickets in advance.


at our exciting online shop and support the Museum

Our doors may be temporarily closed but our online shop is always open.

We are delighted the announce that our shop was Highly Commended at the 2020 Museum + Heritage Awards. All income from shop sales is invested back into the upkeep of this historic space, its collection and exciting programming. Thank you for your support.

Support the Old Operating Theatre

Support Us

as we recover from the Covid-19 closure

As a registered charity (no: 1155078), the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret generates income from museum admissions, education, events, and our museum shop, all of which is invested back into the upkeep of this historic space, its collection and exciting programming. With the advent of Covid-19, the museum has had to temporarily close due to Government regulations.

Help us secure the long-term future of the museum by making a one-off or regular donation.  Thank You.

Virtual Tour

of the Museum while we are temporarily closed

Explore the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret from the comfort of your own home with our virtual tour.

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.

History of the Museum

St Thomas’ Church, the Herb Garret, and the Operating Theatre

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.

History of Old St Thomas’ Hospital

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.

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