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“HISTORY, SURGERY, BLOOD, BONES AND THE 'LIVER'”

Old Operating Theatre
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US$ 76.92*
and up
London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Entry to Over 60 Attractions
Ranked #119 of 1,616 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
Gravesend, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“HISTORY, SURGERY, BLOOD, BONES AND THE 'LIVER'”
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.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank nigel j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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519 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
325 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Interesting, but awkward stairs”
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.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank peterschofield37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
63 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“A real eye-opener”
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.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Toffeeman54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Make sure you attend the talk”
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!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank cmkenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
566 reviews
208 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 344 helpful votes
“A hidden gem!”
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.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank James P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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