We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Old Operating Theatre

#119 of 1,552 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Neighbourhoods
Neighbourhoods
Get directions
Address: 9A St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7955 4791
Website
Today
10:30 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
US$74.71*
and up
London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Entry to Over 60 Attractions
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 510 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 233
    Excellent
  • 186
    Very good
  • 37
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Quirky, Interesting, Eerie

I visited the Old Operating Theatre in January 2017. And yes, the spiral staircase is very narrow and not ideal for those with a walking impairment, yes the exhibits are rarely... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Lord_Darlington
,
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Add Photo Write a Review

510 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 459: English reviews
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Level Contributor
104 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I visited the Old Operating Theatre in January 2017. And yes, the spiral staircase is very narrow and not ideal for those with a walking impairment, yes the exhibits are rarely presented in an up-to-date manner but this is easily outweighed by the atmosphere of this place. Some exhibits are not for the faint-hearted and makes you grateful for today´s... More 

Helpful?
Thank Lord_Darlington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We had been meaning to visit this museum for many years and on a day off decided to kill some time. It was fascinating, so much to see and read even though the museum is made up of a modest gift shop/ticket desk a large room the operating theatre and a small hallway. We got talking to a very friendly... More 

Helpful?
Thank happy_shopper_0
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

If you can get up a small staircase easily, don't go. If you don't like medical equipment and quirk, don't go. If you don't like lofts, don't go. Not easy to spot so look carefully at door plaques but when you do find it, it's a treasure.

Helpful?
Thank Darkgoblin74
Wirral, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Entry is via a steep and narrow spiral stairway. The museum and old theatre in an attic above a church. It is amazing that the theatre has survived and is well presented. The museum has some good exhibits. The most interesting are of course those related to pre-anaesthetic surgery and there is a good selection of knives and saws. Also... More 

Helpful?
Thank Richard_W_Clements
Kaysville, Utah
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This small museum located in an out-of-the-way corner is a treat. The operating theater and the stories of medicine in Victorian England are fascinating. The collection of artifacts related to old medicines, instruments, herbs, etc. was amazing, and all the more so because they are not behind glass. Located in an attic-like space, you can touch most of them and... More 

Helpful?
Thank NicholasWells
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Between the Guy's Hospital and Borough market is this hidden museum. Plenty of unusual and sometimes gruesome objects to be explored!

Helpful?
Thank Derek H
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Fascinating please to visit. You gain access by a single two-way narrow spiral staircase, so not very accessible for some, but that's where it was discovered - up in the attic of a church. If I returned I would try and go in an off-peak time -hint: check times on Facebook. Plenty to see and do for adults and kids... More 

Helpful?
Thank Pete M
Berkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2017

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
22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2017 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 10 January 2017

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

Travellers who viewed Old Operating Theatre also viewed

 

Been to Old Operating Theatre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Old Operating Theatre and other visitors
4 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (4)

Questions? Get answers from Old Operating Theatre staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?

Staying in Southwark

Neighbourhood Profile
Southwark
Even before the arrival of the instantly iconic Shard, the riverside scene in Southwark had moved well beyond any up-and-coming phase of development. For quite some time, locals and out-of-towners alike have loved browsing the boutiques of Bermondsey High Street, foraging through the bounteous stalls at centuries old foodie haven Borough Market, and flocking to the banks of the Thames to enjoy some of Britain's biggest attractions such as Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe. Despite Southwark's many popular draws, instant calm can be achieved easily by turning down almost any side street. For more urban buzz, a quick stroll across famed bridges like the pedestrianized Millennium Bridge or the ever photogenic Tower Bridge yields access to the very core of Central London. And with London Bridge Station as this neighbourhood's main transportation hub, getting across town (or to anywhere in England for that matter) is a relative breeze.
Explore this neighbourhood