Old Operating Theatre Museum

  • Museums
  • History
3 Love It
London Bridge
Britain's oldest surviving purpose-built operating theatre, the Old Operating Theatre Museum is situated in a herb garret in the roof of St Thomas's Church. Built in 1821 for poor women, the theatre has been restored with original furniture and equipment, including a 19th-century operating table, surgical instruments and pathological specimens. Visitors enter via a vertiginous wooden staircase to view a pre-anaesthetic operating theatre with tiered viewing seats for students; sanitised reenactments are sometimes held. Just as gruesome as the operating tools that look like torture implements. Temporary exhibitions also take place, which often combine art with explorations of pathology.
Venue name: Old Operating Theatre Museum
Address: St Thomas Church
9a St Thomas St
Opening hours: Daily 10.30am-5pm
Transport: Tube: London Bridge
Price: £6.20, £5 concs, £3.50 under-16s, £13.90 family (up to 2 adults and 4 children from same family)
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This a very small museum, even though it is quite interesting I would not recommend it to anyone. So much better museums out there!


Been meaning to come here for a while now-- and armed with our National Trust membership (50% off!) we finally made it on a Saturday. They have a lot of interesting exhibits harking back to both its use as a Herb Garrett and an Operating Theatre. You learn about the medicinal qualities of herbs and how pills used to be made. They also had a children's section and a 'trail' that kids can follow and caters to them.

The Theatre is a very impressive space-- made even cooler by the fact that it was boarded up and forgotten about for quite a long time. Heck was found by accident. Amazing. Also makes you quite pleased to not be living in the Victorian times as surgery was.... hmmm a bit hit and miss back then :)

Great way to spend a few hours in the LBG area.