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Old Operating Theatre
Ranked #150 of 1,828 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Let me explain the bad points first. If you have any mobility problem, phobia's, asthma or "LUNG DISEASE" do not go.The stairs are in character with the Museum. The oldest surviving "OPERATING THEATRE IN EUROPE THAT WAS BUILT IN 1822."
Once inside it becomes full of surgicaL objects and herbs.The herbs are are not exiting too look at. However, they are being used by the chinese as a medication now. You have to see the old operating table, knives, saws and "dentist equipment"! as well as a genuine sceleton.

1  Thank nigel j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (618)
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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

524 - 528 of 618 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2012

Very narrow steep rickety stairs to reach the museum. The operating room is interesting and lots of notes about medical procedures dotted about. At £6 it's not cheap.

Thank peterschofield37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

The museum is accessed via a very narrow, very steep, enclosed wooden spiral staircase and I think this would be a nightmare if you met someone going in the opposite direction when you were halfway.
Once at the top the museum itself is quite interesting and gives a great insight into the medical practices from the 1800s. The section on amputations was extremely gory and not for the faint-hearted. It wad amazing to realise how far medical treatment has advanced over the years. Some of the medications and treatments and, indeed some of the apparatus on display are items that I can remember from my younger days.
Worth the climb even if it is just to make us realise how far medical treatment and patient welfare has advanced. Perhaps a little on the expensive side for the admission fee bearing in mind that the visit will probably only last about 30-40 minutes.

1  Thank Toffeeman54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2012

Talks about the theatre start at 1400 on Saturday. We caught most of it and it was very interesting, really brought the venue to life. Not sure how long you would be in there, or how much value you would get from it wandering around on your own. Not for the squeamish!

Thank cmkenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 February 2012

Found this on the web by accident - what a marvellous place. Access is up a spiral staircase (32 steps), so not for those with mobility problems. Once you make it up the stairs the place is an Aladdins Cave of medical instruments, herbs and medicines from the preanesthetic age. There is the original timber operating theatre for St Thomas' hospital, which you can walk around. If you are interested in medical things, this is a good place to spend a couple of hours.

2  Thank James P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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