Date: Sunday 1st November 2020

On 31st October, the Prime Minister announced that England will be under new lockdown restrictions from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December to help combat the spread of Coronavirus. As such, the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret will be closed throughout November 2020. All tickets purchased for Saturday bookings (on 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th November) will be transferred to a later date and ticket-holders will be contacted.

Thank you to everyone who has visited us over the last few months, who has purchased something from our online shop, or engaged with us via social media – we are lucky to have such wonderful supporters – and we plan to share more content via our website over the coming weeks.

Please do keep in touch via our social media channels, or sign up to our newsletter. We look to welcoming you back into the roof of St Thomas’ Church in December.

Sarah Corn (Director)


Date: Monday 12th October 2020

The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret has suffered greatly from the loss of its lively and curious visitors as a result of the pandemic and is forecasting a severe financial loss this year.  Even though we reopened in late July, our monthly income has dropped by 90% and our reserves are low. For the Museum to survive these challenging times, we have had to make difficult decisions, which has sadly included making some of our much valued and committed members of staff redundant.  With a reduced team, we are reviewing our business model and planning changes to the way we operate and the services we currently offer. 

We are fortunate to have received a grant of £99k from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund administered by Arts Council England, which will assist us in staying afloat in the short term, and in reconfiguring our services for the medium and longer-term.

With these goals in mind, over the next six months we will pilot new activities as part of developing an imaginative and robust recovery plan.  We hope you will continue to support us through this journey.

Lord Brock Trust (governing body of the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret)


Date: Thursday 24th September 2020

From today, we will be making an NHS’s Test & Trace QR Code available to all our visitors to scan onsite using the new App. You can download the App here.

From Saturday 10th October, the Museum will only be open one day a week on Saturdays and due to ongoing uncertainly with regards to restrictions, we will be releasing tickets for Saturdays one month in advance to allow greater flexibility for our visitors in these uncertain times.

Please do sign up to our newsletter to keep in touch, or follow us on social media.  We are grateful for your ongoing support and look forward to welcoming you to the Old Op once again. 

Sarah Corn (Director)


Date: Saturday 4th July 2020

We are delighted to announce that from Saturday 25th July, the Museum will reopen after being closed for over four months.

We have taken care to ensure the way we reopen is in line with Government Guidance and sector specific advice to make it a safe and enjoyable visit for you, as well as a positive environment for our team. The Lord Brock Trust has held ongoing conversations with staff and consulted with our audiences gathering feedback through an online reopening survey. Our supporters told us what they wanted to see us do, and we have implemented as many of these changes as possible. We have carried out a Risk Assessment, have complied with the Government’s Guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 as outlined in the ‘Five Steps to Safer Working Together‘, and have received Visit Britain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark.

Please read our FAQs to find out more about the reasons behind these changes.

We have put in place the following protocols:

  • Regular cleaning of high contact areas throughout the day
  • Increased cleaning of the space
  • Limited total building occupancy
  • Limited timed group entry, booked in advance (we will collect basic data to support the NHS’s Test and Trace processes)
  • Group entry recommended for household units
  • Provided hand sanitiser
  • Staff to wear face visors or be behind screens
  • Visitors are welcome to wear their own face coverings and bring their own hand sanitiser
  • Clear signage for social distancing 2 metres apart
  • Clear signage about our cleaning protocols and visitor hygiene etiquette
  • Advance booking ticketing
  • Touchless and card transactions only
  • Alternatives to printed maps and text/labels in the form of downloadable PDFs and QR codes
  • Alternatives to group sessions in the form of virtual live talks with Q&A and local history guided walk (coming soon)

We are also investigating how we can offer designated hours for older adults or high-risk individuals.

Please note: we do not have visitor toilets, but there are public conveniences available in London Bridge Station.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone and ask our visitors to kindly respect each other and our staff during their time with us; together, we hope your visit will not only be safe but fun, engaging, informative and memorable.

Please keep in touch via our social media channels for more details.

Sarah Corn (Director)


Date: Wednesday 18th March 2020

Hello from the Old Op,

In response to increasing concerns around the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), and following the latest government advice, we have made the decision to close the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret from Wednesday 18th March until further notice.  The health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local community is of the utmost importance and we have a social responsibility to help limit the spread of this virus.

Our team will contact you directly to advise on refunds or rebooking of visits; please avoid calling the office.  While our museum is closed, our upcoming events cancelled, and our education programmes paused, the Old Op team have been busy putting our contingency plans into practice.  You will see a lot more activity on our social media channels, more website resources, and very soon, our collection catalogue will be available online.  Over the next weeks, we are committed to spreading information and positivity in these difficult circumstances.  We as humans have historically handled, and more importantly, overcome different health crises in the past.  There is a lot we can learn from our collective history, including how resilient, adaptable and tenacious we are. 

The Old Op is an independent museum – a registered charity – with no regular funding.  We are therefore reliant on income from our admissions, events and shop sales; this presents a challenge both now and for our longer term sustainability.  

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support, patience and understanding.  In a situation without precedence, now is a time to be kind, to support our most vulnerable, and work together.

Please keep in touch via our social media channels and we look to welcoming you back into the roof of St Thomas’ Church in the not too distant future.

Best wishes,

Sarah Corn (Director) and Simon Howell (Chair of Trustees)