Mar 23, 2013 · 12:30 PM
This location is shown only to members
Hidden in the roof of St Thomas' church, Britain's oldest surviving operating theatre is the centrepiece of this fascinating medical museum. A 300-year-old Herb Garret hosts the only surviving 19th century operating theatre, complete with wooden operating tables and observation stands for the medical students (who watched surgery performed without anaesthetics).
The theatre was mostly reserved for surgery on the poorer patients, as the rich where normally treated in the privacy of their homes.
As you arrive from the street, inside the doorway, a very narrow and winding staircase leads to the museum entrance from where we ascend even higher into the Church rafters and the completely unexpected surroundings of the sweet-smelling herb garret.
Made almost entirely of wooden timbers, the garret is a wonderful space which was created when St Thomas' Church was rebuilt in 1703 and became a useful storage space for the local apothecary. Here you can wander around and marvel at the strange array of plants, herbs and medical instruments, which would have been stored here and used for medical and medicinal purposes by the adjoining hospital.
Some views of the Herb Garret
COST: the full ticket is £6. If we are at least 10, I will purchase a group ticket at the reduced rate of £3.50 each (bring the right change, please, just in case).
Our visit should take 1h - 1.5h, then, for those of us who can stay a bit longer, we'll walk to the river bank, to enjoy some quality pub food and the < Horniman at Hay's >.
If you register < on their website > and bring their voucher along, you'll get afree drink with your main course ; )
I will leave you to your destiny after the meal.