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Old Operating Theatre

#125 of 1,530 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 9A St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7955 4791
Today
10:30 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description:

The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is one of the most unusual...

The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is one of the most unusual Museums in London. It is in quite an amazing location - in the attic of an English Baroque church which was used as a Herb Garret, and later on converted into an Operating Theatre in the 19th century.

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US$70.53*
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 501 reviews
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  • 228
    Excellent
  • 184
    Very good
  • 37
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Very interesting small museum, well worth a visit.

Happened to be passing after a visit to the Skygarden and spent a very happy hour here. Interesting exhibits about 19th century surgery and medical techniques which make you very... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Balvine
,
Berkshire, United Kingdom
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501 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 452: English reviews
Berkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Happened to be passing after a visit to the Skygarden and spent a very happy hour here. Interesting exhibits about 19th century surgery and medical techniques which make you very glad to live in the 21st century. Lots of information about the plants, herbs and poisons that the hospital druggist used. There are children's trails and the change to have... More 

Helpful?
Thank Balvine
Barnet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Went on a cold wet January weekend with my 11 year old. Staff friendly and helpful. They've got a few children's activities which are linked to the theme in an educational way, bit too young for mine but would be good for the under 10s. The pill making was rather good fun. The main problem was there wasn't a lot... More 

Helpful?
Thank MummyKnitter
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Super secret hidden gem. It's absolutely tiny but has a lot of interesting things! Make sure to visit the website and join when one of their fascinating talks.

Helpful?
Thank DorienLapin
united kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

There is a plethora of information packed into this quirky museum. The climb up the stairs is not for the old or unfit but for those that can make it is well worth the visit. The history and information is laid out very clearly and I am sure that children will love the more macabre aspects

Helpful?
Thank Paul C
Mt. Sinai, New York
Level Contributor
53 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After climbing a few very narrow, steep, spirally steps to get to the church attic of the Old St. Thomas Hospital. you experience a dark eerie herb garret and museum. This Little space is jam packed with so much information you could in theory spend hours reading and learning, Each herb is labeled and a description of its once believed,... More 

Helpful?
Thank zuzuspetals315
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2016

I visited this museum with 2 other friends who are also in the medical profession as part of a girly trip to London. The museum is in the old Bell Tower which used to be joined to the Old St Thomas Hospital before it closed in the 1800's. It was rediscovered almost 100 years later in the 1950's and was... More 

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2 Thank 19Jules69
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
190 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2016

Those with an interest in medical history, or perhaps those with a slight macabre bent, will love this place. It's located fairly close to the London Bridge tube station, which we used to arrive here. Entrance is fairly inexpensive (6.5 GBP per adult), but we spent more than an hour viewing the herbs and medical curios in the herb garret... More 

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1 Thank Anna P
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
179 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2016

My partner is an operating department practitioner so this was top of the list to do. It was great, tucked away and up a tiny spiral staircase was a hidden gem. Full of information and artefacts from across the eras with interesting stories and accounts. The theatre itself was amazingly well kept and you could just imagine what went on... More 

Helpful?
Thank charlie170689
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2016

This was an interesting experience. Access to the top of the church where the operating theatre is via 32 wooden well trodden circular steps. It is well worth a visit even if you do not have any medical knowledge.There are numerous displays of medical instruments and specimens in jars and herbs and spices and what they were used for.

Helpful?
Thank jane b
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
194 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 November 2016

This is a most fascinating little museum housed in a very old and interesting building, however the only access [due to the nature of the building] is up a narrow spiral staircase. Excellent exhibitions.

Helpful?
1 Thank WillStaffordshire

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