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Old Operating Theatre + Pub lunch

  • 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.

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  • Tiziana

    Gutted that the price was not what I had expected (it turned out £3.50 was actually only for school pupils), but all in all quite an amazing little museum. Sooo grateful I wasn't born in the XIX century! Great group of people, ready to have a laugh - thank you all for coming : )

    March 23, 2013

    • Annemarie

      It was well worth the money. A great find! Thanks for sharing :-)

      1 · March 24, 2013

  • Marie-Andrée

    Hidden gem in Southwark! ...awesome

    Cheers Tiziana

    1 · March 24, 2013

  • Liam

    Thanks Tiziana. It was nice to visit one of London's hidden gems.

    1 · March 24, 2013

  • Gabb

    Very interesting little museum. Thanks Tiziana and mamma :)

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Kuldip

    Thanks Tiziana for an enjoyable sat afternoon!

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Brian

    Very interesting, small and educating museum. Can't believe this lay hidden for a hundred years before being discovered again in 1956. Great conversation in the pub afterwards with a friendly joyful group. Well done Tiziana.

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Vilian

    A very atmospheric little museum especially going on a snowy day! Can almost imagine what it was like in the 18xx! Thanks Tiziana for organizing such a great day :)

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Vilian

    On my way from london bridge station

    March 23, 2013

    • Tiziana

      Thank you for coming, Vilian - looking forward to chatting more next time ; )

      1 · March 23, 2013

  • Annemarie

    We've got an enormous table saved, by the staircase, on the ground level...

    March 23, 2013

    • Tiziana

      Thank you Annemarie! next time we'll shove the parents and child away ; p

      March 23, 2013

  • Maja

    Very enjoyable afternoon spent with a lovely group of people discussing a wide variety of topics. And the museum was great :-)

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Tiziana, it was a great museum to visit and some great people came as well. Thanks very much for arranging it.

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Andrea

    Tiziana, huge compliment for organising this. I had a great time, the museum was simply amazing and it really cheered me up going out socialising with you all. Well done!

    1 · March 23, 2013

  • Maja

    On my way if there is a later group I'd like to join it.

    March 23, 2013

  • Kuldip

    I'm running v late as missed my train. Prob be there 12.45. Can I pick up my ticket at the reception & meet you inside? Thanks

    March 23, 2013

  • Annemarie

    Looks like I won't be there before 12.30. Hope you guys are still there? x

    March 23, 2013

  • Andrea

    I might be running a little late but I'm on my way! See you soon

    March 23, 2013

  • Annemarie

    Interesting museum you've found. I love to discover new places :-)

    March 14, 2013

    • Ulli

      Me too!

      1 · March 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I can organise a visit to this, it's 5 minutes from my work.

      March 21, 2013

  • Andrea

    A cautious, 95% yes :-), sounds amazing

    1 · March 15, 2013

13 went

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