The Old Operating Theatre Museum

The Old Operating Theatre Museum 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 Roof of an English Baroque church which was used as a Herb Garret, and converted into an Operating Theatre
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There is a special thing in the air today....like it is Friday! So it is #bottleoftheweek! This antimonial bottle from o...
08/05/2020

There is a special thing in the air today....like it is Friday! So it is #bottleoftheweek! This antimonial bottle from our chest medicine is so beautiful, although its uses were not so nice. Originally used to induce vomiting, sweating, and for cathartic purposes. Such treatments were considered unparalleled in their strength back in the day! Such a lovely home remedy, right? 😀

As we have already seen, the Victorian’s idea of ‘Home Care’ didn’t just involve physical exercise, they also had to com...
07/05/2020

As we have already seen, the Victorian’s idea of ‘Home Care’ didn’t just involve physical exercise, they also had to come up with inventive ways to pass the time and stay mentally stimulated while at home - with no television or internet! Victorian Parlour Games were extremely popular, and many only required a bit of imagination and objects already found at home. For example, try having a go at ‘Consequences : one player starts the game by drawing a head (this can human, animal, or mythical) on a piece of paper, and then folds it to hide their work before passing it on to the next person, who draws the torso, and the next the legs, and so on. When it is complete, players unfold the paper to reveal the masterpiece they’ve created together. This game could also be adapted to drawing different things (buildings, machines, patterns) depending how you fold and pass the paper and how imaginative you are. Have you played this one yet? Let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Image Credit: An interior of a games room: anthropomorphic figures playing, drinking, and smoking. Colour lithograph. Credit: Wellcome Collection.

Between 1831 and 1866, four Asiatic cholera outbreaks struck England, as part of pandemic outbreaks that affected the wh...
06/05/2020

Between 1831 and 1866, four Asiatic cholera outbreaks struck England, as part of pandemic outbreaks that affected the whole world. Caused by a bacteria spread through infected water, persons in severe cases convulsed with pain, suffering intense vomiting and uncontrollable watery diarrhoea. Dehydration caused by these extremities could lead to hypotensive shock and death within hours. ... How did people in the past dealt with this pandemic scenario? Check out our first of several blog posts dedicated to Cholera at http://ow.ly/Tumj50zvmV0

Let's talk about leeches with a photo of ours!!! The medicinal leech has been used for thousands of years in the common ...
05/05/2020

Let's talk about leeches with a photo of ours!!! The medicinal leech has been used for thousands of years in the common practice of bloodletting. Leeches continued to be used prodigiously in the 19th century.
At St Thomas’ Hospital they were very much in favour with both physicians and surgeons. In 1820, 28,850 were used, escalating to over 50,000 in 1822. In 1823, 54,650 leeches were purchased at a cost of £251 9s 6d (over £10,000 today) which was roughly 8% of the hospital’s expenditure on all medical and surgical supplies. Treatment for a case of gonorrhea in the 1820’s required the daily application of 12 leeches onto the patient’s pen*s. 😱
Today leeches are used in restoring venous circulation following reconstructive surgery.
Want to learn more facts about the Old Operating Theatre? Then check our top facts here: http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/history/top-facts

We may still be in #LondonLockdown, but there is nothing stopping us from dreaming about the places that we want to visi...
05/05/2020

We may still be in #LondonLockdown, but there is nothing stopping us from dreaming about the places that we want to visit after this is over. Have you added us to the list? We think you should! A space dedicated to a very dark time for the history of medicine (granted, not the darkest!...but still!). Our original operating theatre is a trip back in time that stands witness to the horrors of pre-anaesthetic and pre-antiseptic surgery! To experience this space for yourself can be quite something! So go ahead! Add us to your must-be-experienced-spaces list! You can even pre-purchase your tickets here 👉 http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us
All funds go to support the museum and the collection during the COVID19 closure!

Good morning! #AnatomyTuesday is here! Today we are looking into the human nervous system! So check out the brain and sp...
05/05/2020

Good morning! #AnatomyTuesday is here! Today we are looking into the human nervous system! So check out the brain and spinal cord from this drawing created in the late Victorian Era. Found in Harter's Images of Medicine. 😁

Are you finding yourself doing lots of online shopping at the moment?  AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you...
04/05/2020

Are you finding yourself doing lots of online shopping at the moment?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop via smile.amazon.co.uk, (instead of amazon.co.uk) you’ll find the exact same selection and convenient shopping experience but with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to us under our registered charity name of the 'Lord Brock Trust' (Yes! This is us!).

You can also find us on PayPal, eBay, Humble Bumble and GoFundMe. All of these are easy ways to support us, but if you still want to you can donate via our website at http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us

Let's begin this #MondayChallenge well: by getting as many of you to do a jigsaw puzzle of the museum in the least amoun...
04/05/2020

Let's begin this #MondayChallenge well: by getting as many of you to do a jigsaw puzzle of the museum in the least amount of time! Share those times with us for epic bragging rights! Check out this Memento Mori created with things from our collection! http://ow.ly/7ArP50zvjYV

It is a well known fact that when the first breakthroughs in medicine took place in the past, these ideas were received ...
03/05/2020

It is a well known fact that when the first breakthroughs in medicine took place in the past, these ideas were received more often than not with derision, laughter, and contempt. Many contemporaries, not being able to look beyond the established tradition, hindered instead of helped these innovators. But then, there was always that first follower that said, “Why not? Let’s give this a try!” and the ball got rolling. This is the case of none other than Henry Cline (1750-1827), surgeon of Old St Thomas’ Hospital, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, a political radical, a farmer, and a fellow of the Royal Society. Cline was one of the first surgeons to take Edward Jenner seriously when he came to London seeking volunteers for smallpox vaccination. Jenner gave him the inoculant, and Cline started to popularize the new vaccine along with two other doctors, one of whom tried to take credit for Jenner’s work. As we all know, vaccination rapidly proved how valuable it was and Jenner became intensely active promoting it. So today we salute these frontliners: Edward Jenner and one of his first followers, Henry Cline, for their efforts to ameliorate the health of the people under their care! Thank you! ❤️

If you are local and living in the London Bridge area, there are lots of community resources you can use if you need to ...
03/05/2020

If you are local and living in the London Bridge area, there are lots of community resources you can use if you need to (or give to if you can). Beyond Food Foundation is serving up free and nutritious meals out of Brigade Restaurant to those in greatest need. If you are able to and you’d like to help you can donate to @beyondbrigade to help them meet the demand.
Photo Credit: A surgeon-apothecary shouts back from an open window at a request for a night-visit to a patient, sending pot plants and a cat flying. Coloured aquatint by H. Pyall after Ego, 1827. Wellcome Collection.

30/04/2020
Museum Dance Off 5: The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

We love #InternationalDanceDay & it just happens that we participated in several museum dance off competitions, and here is the result of one of them! Filmed in the museum with the general public and the staff! Enjoy the dance!
youtu.be/Iv90t0e2kfs

The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret's entry into the When You Work At A Museum Fourth Annual Dance-Off Competition 2018. Thanks to everyone who ...

There is so much more to The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret  than just history of medicine! To understand ou...
30/04/2020

There is so much more to The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret than just history of medicine! To understand our positition in it, we also must understand the local history that surrounded us at the time! Therefore, let us properly introduce our new audio series! 👉 http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/local-history-audio-series

Did you know that the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret has a blog dedicated to the history of medicine & socia...
30/04/2020

Did you know that the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret has a blog dedicated to the history of medicine & social history of the Georgian & Victorian eras? If you want to learn about frontliners, surgeons, herbal medicine, local history, etc. Head over to http://www.oldoperatingtheatre.com/blog #MuseumFromHome

Are you home schooling your young ones or do you just have an insatiable curiosity? Well, our amazing education team cre...
30/04/2020

Are you home schooling your young ones or do you just have an insatiable curiosity? Well, our amazing education team created a number of digital resources in the form of donwloadable pdfs that you can use to guide someone else's studies or just your own in the difficult but exciting world of the history of medicine! Find this amazing package under our Resources link in our website. http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/digital-education-resources

30/04/2020

Today we have a special day ahead because BBCArts will be showcasing museums as part of their #CultureinQuarentine series! So today we will show off all the museum's resources! And even though this event will be mostly taking place on Twitter, we will also share our content across all our platforms! Get ready, grab your hat and join us for this ride.

As promised, here is what´s new at the Old Op:The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret stands in the heart of Lond...
29/04/2020
The Old Operating Theatre Museum | The Old Operating Theatre Museum

As promised, here is what´s new at the Old Op:
The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret stands in the heart of London Bridge in Southwark. This area has a very long and at times colourful history. Gareth Miles, our education and outreach officer, will share with you pieces of history and anecdotes about the local history of Southwark. Join him in this new audio series.

http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/local-history-audio-series

Welcome to the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret in London. Discover Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre.

Can't wait to come back? Miss the museum as much as we do?  Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Muse...
29/04/2020

Can't wait to come back? Miss the museum as much as we do? Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redeem them when we resume operating as normal. Not only do these tickets never expire, they will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Click the following link http://ow.ly/GKki50z7wKQ to find out more about our fundraising campaigns and how you can get involved. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!).

29/04/2020

Good morning! How is everybody doing? The museum is missing all of you as gold dust settles, but it is also grateful for your likes, comments & shares online! Oh! We have a very tiny surprise for all of you later!! Weeee!!! 😁 Stay tuned!! 😁

The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret has a very extensive collection which includes the herbs that were used t...
28/04/2020

The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret has a very extensive collection which includes the herbs that were used to make medicines at Old St Thomas' Hospital. Since the first use of the garret was as a herb garret, Karen Howell, the museum's curator, created a long time ago a historical compendium of how the herbs were used in the past. We are finally ready to share them with the world! In this A-Z you will find many attitutes and recipes that are historical. We will be sharing one herb per week, but if you cannot wait, you can start checking out our blog post here 👉
http://ow.ly/GYYv50zqQiy

Please, do not try these at home. This is a historical document 😀

So ,thankfully it is still Tuesday and that means that #AnatomyTuesday is still happening! Here, let' look today at the ...
28/04/2020

So ,thankfully it is still Tuesday and that means that #AnatomyTuesday is still happening! Here, let' look today at the anatomy of the heart a most beautiful organ. ❤ From Images of the Human Body 😁

28/04/2020
The Old Op Museum Shop

Check out this video of the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret shop and be happy in the knowledge that you have helped us extend our offer to the world due to your generosity! We have raised a bit over £1,000 so far for our online shop! But the fundraising campaing is still on until the 30th of April, so you can still help us out if you want by donating, sharing, liking and commenting via our social media channels! We are very grateful for your continued support! http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us

27/04/2020

Are you a finance person looking for a new opportunity in the cultural heritage sector? Well, here is your chance! We are looking for a new finance officer to join our amazing team at the Old Op! Deadline is this Thursday, so go on! Apply today! 😀

Yes! We know you have been waiting for this all week!! It is time for our #MondayChallenge . Here is the fourth  jigsaw ...
27/04/2020

Yes! We know you have been waiting for this all week!! It is time for our #MondayChallenge . Here is the fourth jigsaw puzzle with images from the Old Op Theatre. How fast can you piece this one together 😉? Remember to share your times with us for epic bragging rights! 😀 Stay home! Stay healthy! Make our jigsaw puzzles!
Go to puzzle here 👉 http://ow.ly/YUZZ50zbYgu

Can't wait to get hands on with history again?  Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redee...
27/04/2020

Can't wait to get hands on with history again? Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redeem them when we resume operating as normal. Not only do these tickets never expire, they will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Click the following link http://ow.ly/GKki50z7wKQ to find out more about our fundraising campaigns and how you can get involved. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!).

#OldOpRecommends the one thing that lawful good readers need: an anatomical bookmark! Look at that brain combined with t...
26/04/2020

#OldOpRecommends the one thing that lawful good readers need: an anatomical bookmark! Look at that brain combined with the spine! Such a nice bookmark!
Wish you had this at home with you right now? You will be able to soon! We're currently fundraising to get our online shop up and running, your donations will not only make that possible, but will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!)."
You can donate here 👉 http://ow.ly/hfvN50zc0U9

If you are local and living in the London Bridge area, there are lots of community resources you can use if you need to ...
26/04/2020

If you are local and living in the London Bridge area, there are lots of community resources you can use if you need to (or give to, if you can). Check out www.londonbridgecommunity.com if you are self-isolating and need someone else to pick up groceries or prescriptions for you, take your dog for a walk, or even just someone to call and check in and have a chat. You can also register to volunteer through this same website if you are able to and interested in doing so. But remember to take care of yourself and always put safety first.
Photo Credit: A woman doctor bandaging a young woman's hand. Mezzotint, 1787. Wellcome Collection.

We are almost there!!! On the 30th of April, our fundraiser to open our online shop will end. So far we have raised £700...
26/04/2020

We are almost there!!! On the 30th of April, our fundraiser to open our online shop will end. So far we have raised £700. We know that these are difficult times for everybody, but it would be great if we could reach £1000 by the end of the month! Every bit helps, including liking and sharing our posts. If you would like to help, please, follow this link: http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us. With our most sincere gratitude and hoping to get our exclusive items around the world to you soon. ❤️

Can't wait to come back? Miss the museum as much as we do?  Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Muse...
25/04/2020

Can't wait to come back? Miss the museum as much as we do? Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redeem them when we resume operating as normal. Not only do these tickets never expire, they will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Click the following link http://ow.ly/GKki50z7wKQ to find out more about our fundraising campaigns and how you can get involved. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!).

#OldOpRecommends the museum badge! The perfect souvenir to remind yourself how lucky those who survived the Old Operatin...
24/04/2020

#OldOpRecommends the museum badge! The perfect souvenir to remind yourself how lucky those who survived the Old Operating Theatre were! We miss giving this out as the treat for our volunteers during our Victorian Surgical Demonstration.
Wish you had this at home with you right now? You will be able to soon! We're currently fundraising to get our online shop up and running, your donations will not only make that possible, but will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!)."
You can donate here 👉 http://ow.ly/hfvN50zc0U9

As it is Friday (yes! We have checked), here comes a new edition of #bottleoftheweek! Isn't our anaesthetic ether bottle...
24/04/2020

As it is Friday (yes! We have checked), here comes a new edition of #bottleoftheweek! Isn't our anaesthetic ether bottle just lovely? Anaesthesia was first used at Old St Thomas' Hospital in 1847. Pity that antiseptics had not been introduced at the time 😱

Can't wait to get hands on with history again?  Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redee...
23/04/2020

Can't wait to get hands on with history again? Good news! You can now pre-purchase your tickets to the Museum and redeem them when we resume operating as normal. Not only do these tickets never expire, they will also provide us with vital financial support to help preserve the long-term future of the Museum through this temporary closure. Click the following link http://ow.ly/GKki50z7wKQ to find out more about our fundraising campaigns and how you can get involved. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated (including liking and sharing our posts!).

The Victorians' idea of ‘Home Care’ didn’t just involve physical exercise, they also had to come up with inventive ways ...
23/04/2020

The Victorians' idea of ‘Home Care’ didn’t just involve physical exercise, they also had to come up with inventive ways to pass the time and stay mentally stimulated while at home - with no television or internet! Victorian Parlour Games were extremely popular, many of which are still played at parties today or have even been adapted into modern commercial board games. For example, try having a go at ‘Fictionary’: one player (the judge) takes a dictionary and picks an obscure word, which everyone else must write made up definitions for. The judge then reads out loud all of the definitions, including the real one, and everyone must vote on which one they think is true. Players earn points if their fake definition gets votes, and also, if they correctly guess the true one. If no one guesses correctly, the judge takes a point. This one could be played at home the old fashioned way, or virtually, through a video call with friends and family. Have you played this one yet? Let us know how it goes in the comments below!
Image Credit: A board game with squares and numbers with the penalties, forfeits and rewards and instructions: The Game of the Goose! This coloured lithograph comes from the Wellcome Collection.

Address

9A St Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RY

London Bridge Underground and Train Station

Opening Hours

Monday 10:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:30 - 17:00
Thursday 10:30 - 17:00
Friday 10:30 - 17:00
Saturday 10:30 - 17:00
Sunday 10:30 - 17:00

Telephone

+4420 7 188 2679

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Comments

Fascinating and informative presentation from our enthusiastic guide! An amazing place - we must return. Dennis and Janet (attendees at the Sherlock Holmes Society of London presentation).
Thanks once again to Kirsty Chilton for making our visit last night such a pleasure. It never ceases to amaze us as to how you are so knowledgable on the subject of each talk you deliver, there’s never a dull moment in your lectures, you truly bring history to life. We are looking forward to your upcoming talks, see you soon, Nick & Gill.
In case anyone might be interested by blog post on the Old Operating Theatre is here:- https://theenglandproject.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/the-old-operating-theatre-southwark/ and my new page for my blog is here:- https://www.facebook.com/England-Aspects-325652988003861/
My husband and I are coming to visit you this coming Sunday and are SO excited! Our first trip to England and this is a primo stop on our journey! (Though I'm not sure he's ready for the Gore Tour. I told him to just look away if he got squeamish. LOL)
Michelle Kelly you must go see
Ashleigh
The Director of this Museum is also accompanying my 9 day London Road Scholar tour in May. Cool!
I am thoroughly enjoying Lindsey Fitzharris's book - 'The Butchering Art'. The history of medicine has long been of fascination to me and I have been inspired to write a poem about the work of Joseph Lister!
London Preview: Written and directed by Angus Graham-Campbell. Commissioned by The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and developed with support from the Old Operating Theatre Museum in London
A feature on Broadway World for our upcoming production 'Rebel Angel' 23 September - 7 October 2017 at The Old Operating Theatre! https://www.broadwayworld.com/westend/article/Angus-Graham-Campbell-Presents-REBEL-ANGEL-at-Old-Operating-Theatre-20170817