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Old Operating Theatre

St. Thomas's Church 9A St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, England
+44 20 7955 4791
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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.
  • Excellent52%
  • Very good39%
  • Average7%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
St. Thomas's Church 9A St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, England
Southwark
CONTACT
Website
+44 20 7955 4791
Write a ReviewReviews (611)
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"narrow spiral staircase"
in 42 reviews
"herb garret"
in 39 reviews
"surgical instruments"
in 30 reviews
"small museum"
in 40 reviews
"operating table"
in 24 reviews
"old church"
in 23 reviews
"national trust members"
in 16 reviews
"modern medicine"
in 15 reviews
"medical students"
in 12 reviews
"bell tower"
in 11 reviews
"herbal remedies"
in 10 reviews
"oldest operating"
in 9 reviews
"st thomas' hospital"
in 8 reviews
"guy's hospital"
in 7 reviews
"borough market"
in 32 reviews
"london bridge station"
in 15 reviews
"on display"
in 27 reviews
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1 - 10 of 552 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is why our operation theatres are called theatres! No germ control here😏 2 in 3 people died of infections early 1800s We were lucky enough to arrive just before a talk was to start, the lady was absolutely amazing and so very passionate about...More

Thank amadar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

Y'all, this has to be one of the most underrated and little-known museums in London! I'm a nurse so obviously I'd have a special interest in a medical museum like this, but wow it was awesome. So many interesting facts and learning about the beliefs...More

Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Was a special trip for my son as he’s taking GCSE history which includes medicine. The museum was interesting and the talk included key dates and information which is useful as well as adding in more detail and gruesome facts. Turns out that gangrene smells...More

Thank Zoe P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

From making your way up the narrow winding staircase entrance, to all the medicinal herbs, to the hidden-away operating theatre in the attic, this is a brilliant way to spend an hour in London. It’s right opposite London Bridge tube station and has an incredible...More

Thank Catriona H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

After this grim reminder of the past I should be happy to wait on a trolley in A&E for four hours – and no, I don’t work for the NHS or the Department of Health. It’s an odd place, 52 steps up a narrow corkscrew...More

Thank Chris N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

Wow this place is fascinating. It’s full of amazing facts and equipment! Makes you glad to live in the 21st century. You could spend hours just browsing all the cabinets and things. Very quirky place but difficult access. It’s at the top of an old...More

Thank Watson25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We loved the old operating theatre. All the old original features and the scents from the herbs made it so atmospheric. The stairs to the museum although narrow and difficult to climb added to the excitment. Would love to come again and hear one of...More

Thank Zebrapies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Really interesting. Tells the story of hospitals in the days before the 'good old NHS'. Plenty of gruesome looking instruments and jar of leeches! The operating theatre is in an attic and access is via a very tight and long spiral staircase. However, its worth...More

Thank PaulWilkinsUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Fantastic museum for anyone even mildly interested in the history of medicine. As a final year Operating Department Practitioner student I thoroughly enjoyed having a glimpse into what theatres were like in the 'olden days'.

Thank hazebrv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

If you're even mildly interested in the history of medicine this small museum is worth the visit. But beware the only way to visit is up a very narrow spiral staircase. We happened to visit when a large school group of high school children were...More

Thank Alicia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
chopkins100
18 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Waterdown | Reviewed this property |
There should not be any problems leaving your suitcase. The guy at the ticket counter was very nice. When we went, the ticket counter was upstairs so you will have to carry the suitcase up the narrow stairs. So it will... More
1
Vote
Donald M
23 June 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from zuzuspetals315 | Reviewed this property |
Hi, I suggest you check their website. We went in December. Hope it's open for you. It is interesting and a pretty quick visit.
2
Votes
Vanessa H
22 September 2016|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from oldoptheatre | Property representative |
Apologies for the delay, but the answer is no. We are a small charity and the entrance fees allow us to keep the museum running. Please go to our website for more information.
1
Vote