The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is awarded a £125,222 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to mark the operating theatre’s bicentenary in 2022. 

The Lord Brock Trust who govern the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £125,222 for an exciting heritage project titled ‘Stories from the Old Op’. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project commemorates 200 years since the women’s operating theatre was purpose built in the roof of St Thomas Church (now grade II* listed) as part of old St Thomas’ Hospital, at a time before anaesthetic and antiseptic. It is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe, and the museum’s home – 2022 also marks the museum’s 60th year.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will mark these significant anniversaries with new digital and physical interpretation and displays at the museum, a community outreach offer, and an exciting virtual and in-person engagement programme working with a variety of local organisations and groups to tell the stories of the surgeons, students, nurses and patients who once set foot in the attic of St Thomas’ Church during its time of use, between 1822 and 1862.

Commenting on the award, Chair of the Lord Brock Trust said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are excited by the activity we have planned for 2022 where visitors can learn more about our medical past.”

The museum will be working with the support of a number of local organisations, without which, this project would not be possible. These are:

  • Florence Nightingale Museum
  • Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation
  • Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • Metropolitan Police
  • Resonance FM    
  • ‘SC1’ innovation district
  • Southwark Heritage and Libraries
  • Southwark Borough Council
  • Southwark Health and Wellbeing Partnership
  • Team London Bridge     

Keep up to date on the project’s progress by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For further information, images and interviews please contact Sarah Corn, Director of the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret,

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

Old Op Museum receives Heritage Fund grant for 2022 Bicentenary
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