London's hidden historic treasures

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The landmarks and attractions with an intriguing past

The Old Operating Theatre's shop sells all manner of weird and wonderful items The Old Operating Theatre's shop sells all manner of weird and wonderful items - © Tove Breitstein
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Old Operating Theatre

Britain's oldest surviving purpose-built operating theatre, 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 nineteenth-century operating table, surgical instruments and pathological specimens. The shop sells many strange and wonderful items, including palm-sized furry forms of bacteria, such as the common cold and black death and intriguing books such as 'Chloroform: The Quest for Oblivion'.

Old Operating Theatre Museum, 9a St Thomas St, London, SE1 9RY (7188 2679/www.thegarret.org.uk)

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