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

Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Find out more about how to book your tickets here.

Find out more about our new Covid-19 protocols here.


Find Us

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

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Visit Us

this summer in a safe and welcoming environment

We are delighted to announce that the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is open over Summer 2020 from Saturday 25th July for weekends only.

But the way you book and visit has changed to ensure we meet Covid-19 Government Guidelines. Please read more about this here before you book.

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 had to temporarily close, meaning all of these income streams were paused, with a much limited offer available once we reopen. 

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

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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