Medical museums in London
Time Out prescribes a look at some of the capital's best medical collections
If mainstream museums leave you feeling jaded, London’s medical museums offer rich pickings for anyone prepared to make a bit of an effort. As well as dazzling spaces such as the Wellcome Collection and the Science Museum, there are numerous more esoteric venues to explore. Sometimes open by appointment only and staffed by volunteers, occasionally dusty, often based in somewhat obscure institutions, these quirky collections nevertheless have a complex story to tell, of developments in the medical sciences and remarkable men and women who have made a mark in their field.
The medicinal garden at the headquarters of the oldest medical college in England contains more than 1,300 plants, each used in some way as medicine around the world over the past 3,000 years. In the Grade I-listed building there are displays of books, manuscripts, silver, medical artefacts and portraits of leading physicians from the last 500 years, by Joshua Reynolds, Johan Zoffany, Thomas Lawrence, Elizabeth Frink and others. Tours of the museum and garden can be booked.