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.
Reenactments of ‘surgery without anaesthesia’ are sometimes on offer at Britain’s oldest surviving purpose-built operating theatre, tucked into the 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.