The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret is a unique and fascinating place to visit. We offer a vibrant programme of talks and activities for schools and colleges following a prescribed syllabus or for any one wishing to discover more about the history of medicine, surgery and healthcare.

Feedback from previous group participants shows that 80% of respondents rated the overall experience as ‘excellent’ and 20% as ‘good’. 100% of respondents stated they would visit again with supporting comments, such as:

In line with current Government Guidelines, our schools and groups sessions have been slightly adapted to minimize the risk of Covid-19 transmission. All schools and groups will experience our popular Victorian Surgery talk Brought to Life talk. This session is held in Europe’s oldest surviving surgical operating theatre where your group will experience the atmosphere of this uniquely evocative space, as the Museum Team reconstruct an operation before the arrival of anaesthesia and antiseptics. The content of this session can be adapted to suite different audiences and age groupings.  

Key Stage 2

  • Duration: 90 min
  • Session Plan: 45 min interactive talk and demonstration + 45 min self-led museum trail   
  • This session is ideal for year 5 and 6 primary school students who are following a local history or medical related topic.

Key Stage 4-5

  • Duration: 90 min
  • Session Plan: 45 min interactive talk and demonstration + 45 min self-led museum trail   
  • The session is excellent for students studying:
    • GCSE History:  Edexcel, Medicine Through Time: c.1250-Present
    • AQA, Health and the People (AQA)
    • BTEC: Health and Social Care

General Interest Groups

The Museum welcomes group visits from people who are keen to discover more about the development of medicine and surgery in Britain.  This session offers an insightful introduction into the Old St Thomas’ Hospital and 19th century healthcare as well as the Victorian Surgery demonstration. Following the talk, the group will have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s artefacts and narratives.