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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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After Hours Victorian Surgery Demonstration

Special Event | 31 January, 2019, 7:00 PM

​This is a unique after hours event that will take you back in time to witness a mock Victorian surgical demonstration presented within the original architecture of the old operating theatre of St. Thomas’s Hospital dated to 1822.


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

Follow us on instagram @oldoperatingtheatre

#Bloodletting was a common medical practice in the Victorian era. Here are some of the instruments used when bleeding patient found in our collection.

#oldoperatingthetre
#oldoperatingtheatremuseum
#herbgarret #histmed #histsci #themoreyouknow #museumobject #historyofmedicine  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #stilllife #todays_simplicity #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked
One of our #apothecary bottles containing anti-cholera or diarrhea mixture. #Cholera was considered to be the Victorian Plague. 
#oldoperatingthetre
#oldoperatingtheatremuseum
#herbgarret #histmed #histsci #themoreyouknow #museumobject #historyofmedicine  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #stilllife #todays_simplicity #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked
Our #tapeworm specimen measures up to 3m and it came from a 19th c. hospital patient in London. Talking about #parasites, who would want to have one of these? 🤢

#oldoperatingthetre
#oldoperatingtheatremuseum
#herbgarret #histmed #histsci #themoreyouknow #museumobject #historyofmedicine  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #stilllife #todays_simplicity #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked
Our #poison cabinet looks very interesting at  night! 
#oldoperatingthetre
#oldoperatingtheatremuseum
#herbgarret #histmed #histsci #themoreyouknow #museumobject #historyofmedicine  #nothingisordinary #still_life_gallery #flatlay #stilllife #todays_simplicity #cupsinframe #onmytable #tablesituation #instapassport #aroundtheworldpix #flashesofdelight #travelog #mytinyatlas #thisislondon #shutup_london #london_only #unlimitedlondon #londoncalling  #focalmarked
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