The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, London

Categories: History Museums, Concerts & Shows, Historic Sites, Museums, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 460+ reviews on the web
Take a trip to a time before anesthetics and antiseptic surgery at The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, home to the oldest remaining operating theater in the UK. Before the construction of the operating theater in 1822, an apothecary probably used the attic space of St. Thomas' Church (part of St. Thomas' Hospital) to store medicinal plants; records refer to it as the "herb garret" and dried opium poppy heads were discovered in the rafters. Take a tour of the restored theater, complete with a gallery of seats where students would observe the operations, and examine a recreation of the apothecary's store. Various displays exhibit antique medical instruments, detailing the grim realities of past surgical practices. Before you head to London, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly London holiday planner, to make sure you see all that London has to offer, including The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret.
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  • I was lucky to attend a lunchtime talk in the operating theatre recently. This building is tall and the steps narrow so go slowly and it is worth it once you get to the ticket office and shop. The bui...  read more »
  • This fascinating and little known museum close to London Bridge station contains the oldest operating theatre in the world, dating from the early nineteenth century and housed in its original location...  read more »
  • We had a great lecture in the operating room about surgical techniques used at the time the operating room was in use. The lecturer told us about the types of operations, the history of the surgical f...  read more »
  • Not an all day thing but a great little museum that's a bit hidden away. Not usually many people there but doesn't take much for it to get crowded. Catch one of the talks if you can.
  • Small place, but interesting. It's expensive ticket to entrance .£6.50
  • Really good to see the history of surgery and medicine especially if you're in healthcare. Might be boring for people not in healthcare. Make sure you take the time to read some of the reading materials there - some amazing accounts of surgeries!
  • The 2pm Saturday talk by the curator was fantastic, really brings the place to life. I highly recommend going on a Saturday for this reason.
  • I was looking for something off the beaten track and a little less hyped up. This delivered. It was very interesting. The casual feel of the presentation made me feel relaxed and enticed into probing further with some of the exhibits. It's location took me to a part of London I probably wouldn't have visited. The Borough Market is just a round the corner and great for good quality street fair. I also visited The Clink Prison which is just a stones throw away and makes a good combo.
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