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Discover Europe's oldest surviving operating theatre.

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A truly unique space for any event

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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

The museum is open  Mondays from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm & Tues-Sun from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. 

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

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Victorian Surgery Talk

Saturdays at 2:00 PM and Sundays at 12 PM

Presented in the original 1822 operating theatre of St Thomas' Hospital, observe from the same position as a medical student at the time a mock demonstration of surgery before anaesthetics. Operations were limited and had to be quick, and without hand-washing and basic hygiene, the chance of later infection and death was high.

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Shard Museum

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.

Hidden London Surgical Theater Lower

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.

“An amazing treasure trove of Victorian Surgery” Pete M Visitor From Cumbria
“This is a quirky and fascinating museum. Hiding in the shadow of The Shard, it is a true moment for reflection and understanding” Petra S Visitor From Somerset
“Friendly staff, wonderfully thought out, fascinating and unique. We should all visit and support this brilliant little museum” Laura N Visitor From London

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If we were into mad science, these are the types of beautiful glass containers that we would use for our experiments! Nope! These are not part of our #bottleoftheweek series; these are just lovely and useful any day of the week! 😉 Discover more at the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret.
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#oldoperatingtheatre #oldoperatingtheatremuseum #herbgarret #apothecary #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #tv_colors #stilllife #todays_simplicity #tv_living #cupsinframe #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #ig_masterpiece #campinassp #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon  #focalmarked
Today's #ShopCuriosityoftheWeek is this gorgeous trinket tray, which was #inspiredby amputation saws from our collection. Just the thing for jewellery, your keys, spare change, the hearts of your enemies, that sort of thing. We're not getting these back in once they're sold out, so now's your chance!
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#theoldoperatingtheatre #oldoperatingtheatre #oldoperatingtheatremuseum #museum #herbgarret #histmed #histsci #historyofmedicine #medicine #anatomy #surgery #operation #victorian #thisislondon #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #secretlondon #nothingisordinary
If you've ever wondered who is behind all of our amazingly good content here on Instagram...surprise! It's these weirdos! Pictured here is Monica (left), our social media manager, alongside her two social media volunteers: Hannah (right), and Mildred (centre), who we have literally worked to death. Hannah seems remarkably untroubled by this. She's next.
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#oldoperatingtheatremuseum #oldoperathingtheatre #herbgarret #HypeBeast #vscoportrait #ig_mood #discoverportrait #portraitphotography #profile_vision #bleachmyfilm #postmoreportraits #portraitpage #igpodium_portraits #portraiture #bnw_demand #bnwmood #monochrome #bnw_globe #blackandwhitephoto #rsa_bnw #blackandwhitephotography #blacknwhite_perfection #bnw_captures #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked
Throughout 2019, we're sharing some responses from our Great Book of Medical Fears, in which visitors to our museum can write their anxieties about health and medicine.
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Today's medical fear is less about the fear of illness or pain to the body, and more about the fear of the future of medicine! Antibiotic resistance is a fear shared by a few people in our book. Here's what one of them wrote: 'We have to respect their appropriate use throughout the world for humans and animals so that they can continue to be useful to us all…if it isn’t already too late?!' We hope it's not too late!
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Remember, you can share your fears with us in the comments, or using #MedicalFears or by visiting the Old Operating Theatre in person and adding your responses to our book.
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#bookofmedicalfears #oldoperatingtheatre #theoldoperatingtheatre #oldoperatingtheatremuseum #museum #herbgarret #medicine #fear #histmed #histsci #fears #antibiotics #antibioticresistance #historyofmedicine #thisislondon #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling #secretlondon
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