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Old Operating Theatre

#120 of 1,515 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
10:30 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 10:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 493 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 225
  • 181
    Very good
  • 36
  • 2
  • 1
An amazing well kept part of British history

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Poole, United Kingdom
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493 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 445: English reviews
Poole, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
179 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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 

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 1 week ago

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.

Thank jane b
Level Contributor
183 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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.

1 Thank WillStaffordshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is one of the most interesting places in London and most people don't know it exists. The stairs to access it give you some idea that what you are about to enter is not your usual museum. The whole place is unique and it feels like you have stepped back in time, the operating room itself is like something... More 

Thank Joanne S
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Visited this hidden gem on a cold afternoon, was great to find something very interesting to kill an hour, (no pun intended). Beware of staircase, not for the elderly, sorry. But articles and exhibits were a fascinating insight to our medical history. Not sure suitable for children but there certainly catered for and very welcome. Thanks for a lovely afternoon.

Thank Colm881
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
237 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

We came here with a 241 voucher and really enjoyed learning about the medical past. The museum is located up a very narrow spiral staircase which is very novel, but not for those that don't like heights! The museum consists of the operating (amphi)theatre and lots of medical tools and exhibits with case studies dotted around to give you a... More 

Thank ellebtn
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
152 reviews
108 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2016

If you have an interest in medical procedures then this museum is worth a visit. There are some interesting specimens in jars and a number of medical instruments on display. When I visited there was a seminar being presented in the operating theater. There are good display descriptions and enough to keep you occupied for an hour or so. There... More 

Thank JeffroNZ
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

This is a very small museum accessed by a narrow spiral staircase. Lots of old operating equipment to see as well as the old theatre at the top of the building. You will never complain about the NHS after a visit.

Thank Hawkeye1945
Carshalton Beeches
Level Contributor
192 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016

We went during half term and had 2 children with us. They did the questionnaire which we found very interesting as well. It was well presented. The actual old operating theatre is impressive and has so much history. The whole area is small but packed full of objects.

Thank Sylvia63
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

A bit gruesome when you read some of the medical procedures of the time but very interesting and well worth a visit, a few awkward steps up to the museum but only about 30

Thank Peter P

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