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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Operating as usual

Have you seen this church before? Want to know how to find it and the story behind it? Book your tickets to the Museum o...
29/07/2020

Have you seen this church before? Want to know how to find it and the story behind it? Book your tickets to the Museum online and you’ll get a brand new London Bridge Local History Map so you can explore the secrets of our neighboughood! Visit our website to get started planning your group’s next day out 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

We are looking forward to sharing our local history knowledge with you!

Today we would like to salute one of our own #frontliners: Sir Astley Cooper (1786-1841).  At age 16 he was sent to appr...
28/07/2020

Today we would like to salute one of our own #frontliners: Sir Astley Cooper (1786-1841). At age 16 he was sent to apprentice under surgeon Henry Cline at Old St. Thomas' Hospital, but Astley was not too excited about the prospect. Upset at his lack of interest, apparently Cline brought an arm for the young boy to dissect at home. Astley did so, and his passion for surgery awoke, or so the story goes. The next few years saw him begin a self-directed course of dissection and vivisection that occupied him until his death. He stole his neighbours' pets and his neighbours' corpses, graduating as he became wealthier to paying others to steal on his behalf (bodysnatchers). He also attended John Hunter's lectures and he found his enthusiasm for constant experimentation quite infectious. Despite the dangers and illegalities of his work, Astley's surgical career blossomed. He married for love and he honeymooned in Revolutionary France. When things got too dangerous for them, they picked up a cargo of French body parts to start his own pathology collection and brought it back to England. Anatomy was at the heart of learning about the human body and training as a surgeon. He was appointed Surgeon to Guy's Hospital after 1800s and he was Sargent-surgeon to George IV and Queen Victoria. He made historical contributions to otology (ear studies), vascular surgery, the anatomy and pathology of the mammary glands and testicles, and the pathology and surgery of hernias. A charming man, Cooper was devoted to a passionate engagement with surgery and with making the world a better place. For this reason, today we salute you, Sir Astley Cooper.

Medicinal plants  were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church.  The Bitter Herb that grows in the trail of the Dev...
28/07/2020

Medicinal plants were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church. The Bitter Herb that grows in the trail of the Devil. The plant’s name states it was a vermifuge “worm-expeller”. Common Wormwood was valued by the ancients as a treatment for jaundice, dropsy, falling sickness and agues.

Learn more about this herb and others in Old St Thomas' Hospital A-Z of Herbs: A Historical Compendium 👉http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/blog/old-st-thomas-hospital-a-z-of-herbs-a-historical-compendium

*Many of these medicinal plants are still used today, but we are looking into their history not their modern applications.

Help us continue the story with your support during the Covid19 closure. You can make one time or ongoing donations here 👉 http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us
All funds go to support the museum and the collection.

Today #OldOpRecommends Lavinia Mitton's introduction to The Victorian Hospital. Known as "Gateways to Death", this book ...
28/07/2020

Today #OldOpRecommends Lavinia Mitton's introduction to The Victorian Hospital. Known as "Gateways to Death", this book charts the different types of hospitals and the changes that took place in them as well as the advances in surgery and nursing during the Victorian era. This short book is definitely worth reading over a cup of tea! You can find it in our online shop too 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/

Are you still excited for our #MondayChallenge? We dare you to finish this very complicated jigsaw puzzle from our Cabin...
27/07/2020

Are you still excited for our #MondayChallenge? We dare you to finish this very complicated jigsaw puzzle from our Cabinet of Curiosities. It is not going to be easy! Share your times for epic bragging rights! :D Go to puzzle here 👉http://ow.ly/ZMnc50AIgyu

Guess what is back in stock in our online shop? Our popular Heart tote bag! Made of 100% cotton, it shows a 19th century...
27/07/2020

Guess what is back in stock in our online shop? Our popular Heart tote bag! Made of 100% cotton, it shows a 19th century drawing of a heart on one side and on the other the key plus the museum's logo. Perfect to keep in your bag for when you need to carry something extra with a bit of heart! 😉Visit our online shop here 👉 http://ow.ly/cag350AIlBV

Here we are again: Our second day after reopening and we are taking the time between groups to clean all touched surface...
26/07/2020

Here we are again: Our second day after reopening and we are taking the time between groups to clean all touched surfaces! 😁 Aprons are so useful for this, don't you think? You can find it in our online shop if interested https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/ 😉

Today we are reopening the museum after the four-month #Covid19 closure! Let's meet the team on site: Lesley will welcom...
25/07/2020

Today we are reopening the museum after the four-month #Covid19 closure! Let's meet the team on site: Lesley will welcome your party at the entrance, so say hi to her 😁 She controls access to the one-way flow of the staircase! After going up the 52-step spiral staircase, Julie will welcome you at front of house and you will be able to check out our shop! 😁 All funds raised will help us recover from the #Covid19 closure. In the Herb Garret ensuring Social Distancing & one-way flow is Gareth! Follow our new digital trail with our free wifi and don't forget to take your local history map so you can explore London Bridge on your own! Book tickets here: https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

Guess what? We’re ready to welcome you back this Saturday!!! This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:-A ...
24/07/2020

Guess what? We’re ready to welcome you back this Saturday!!! This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:

-A whole new range of safe social distance programming and hygiene protocols in place.

-Timed entries and a scheduled, staff controlled route means your group will remain safely socially distanced from others during your visit. The visit will last 45 minutes.

-A whole new contactless trail throughout the Museum will allow you to engage with everything using your own smartphone. For your convenience we have installed WIFI i the museum that you will be able to access for FREE!

-Included in your ticket price to the Museum is a brand NEW London Bridge Local History Map as well as a fun Old Op Quiz to complete at home.

These temporary measures are there to ensure the safety of our staff, your safetey and your enjoyment of the Museum during these difficult times.

Visit our website to learn more about planning your group’s next day out 👉 https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

23/07/2020
OOT Reopening Animation, July 2020

Have you heard? Our doors are opening to the public for the first time in four months on Saturday!!! Be the first ones to book tickets and enjoy our new 45-minute experience! Learn about the history of medicine and Victorian Surgery with us! Check out what you can expect from your visit in this short video :D We are looking forward to welcoming you the museum soon!

Medicinal plants  were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church.  Preparations of Violet were traditionally used aga...
23/07/2020

Medicinal plants were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church. Preparations of Violet were traditionally used against ague, epilepsy, sleeplessness, pleurisy, jaundice and quinsy. Violet jam a.k.a. 'Violet Plate’ was used against consumption.

Learn more about this herb and others in Old St Thomas' Hospital A-Z of Herbs: A Historical Compendium 👉http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/blog/old-st-thomas-hospital-a-z-of-herbs-a-historical-compendium

*Many of these medicinal plants are still used today, but we are looking into their history not their modern applications.

Help us continue the story with your support during the Covid19 closure. You can make one time or ongoing donations here 👉 http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us
All funds go to support the museum and the collection.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the grave-robbers, bodysnatchers, or 'resurrectionists' of the 19th Century, wh...
23/07/2020

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the grave-robbers, bodysnatchers, or 'resurrectionists' of the 19th Century, who provided anatomists with fresh - sometimes TOO fresh - cadavers for medical research? Today #OldOpRecommends "The Italian Boy" by Sarah Wise, which examines the murder of an Italian teenager that marked the beginning of the end of the practice of body snatching in Britain. Reconstructing the sensational trial that followed the boy's death, Wise paints a striking picture of the lives of lower-class Londoners in the 1830s, as it was London's poorest who were the victims of this gruesome practice.

Getting ready for your visit this Summer? Did you know that if you buy things from our online shop, like these amazing p...
23/07/2020

Getting ready for your visit this Summer? Did you know that if you buy things from our online shop, like these amazing pair of skull earrings desgined by Beth K. Crane, you could collect them from our museum shop? You can save money in shipping and handling! 😀 Pre-purchase your souvernirs here 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/

Consider supporting the museum by either booking a visit with us or making a purchase as all income from admissions and shop sales is invested back into the upkeep of our historic space, its collection and exciting programming. Help us recover from the Covid19 closure! Thank you for your support! ❤️

Can you guess where this is? Want to know how to find it and the story behind it? Book your tickets to the Museum online...
22/07/2020

Can you guess where this is? Want to know how to find it and the story behind it? Book your tickets to the Museum online and you’ll get a brand new London Bridge Local History Map included! Visit our website to get started planning your group’s next day out 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/
We are looking forward to sharing our local history knowledge with you!

Guess what? We’re ready to welcome you back this Saturday!!! This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:-A ...
22/07/2020

Guess what? We’re ready to welcome you back this Saturday!!! This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:

-A whole new range of safe social distance programming and hygiene protocols in place.

-Timed entries and a scheduled, staff controlled route means your group will remain safely socially distanced from others during your visit. The visit will last 45 minutes.

-A whole new contactless trail throughout the Museum will allow you to engage with everything using your own smartphone. For your convenience we have installed WIFI i the museum that you will be able to access for FREE!

-Included in your ticket price to the Museum is a brand NEW London Bridge Local History Map as well as a fun Old Op Quiz to complete at home.

These temporary measures are there to ensure the safety of our staff, your safetey and your enjoyment of the Museum during these difficult times.

Visit our website to learn more about planning your group’s next day out 👉 https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

Oooh! #AnatomyTuesday is here! Check out our very own copy of Bailliere's popular atlas of the anatomy of the female hum...
21/07/2020

Oooh! #AnatomyTuesday is here! Check out our very own copy of Bailliere's popular atlas of the anatomy of the female human body (1944 Edition). So pretty and illuminating, right? Especially for the things they don't represent...

Medicinal plants  were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church. ‘The Bear’s Grape’. The leaves of the Bearberry shr...
21/07/2020

Medicinal plants were kept in the herb garret of St Thomas' Church. ‘The Bear’s Grape’. The leaves of the Bearberry shrub made an astringent infusion that was used against bladder and kidney complaints.

Learn more about this herb and others in Old St Thomas' Hospital A-Z of Herbs: A Historical Compendium 👉http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/blog/old-st-thomas-hospital-a-z-of-herbs-a-historical-compendium

*Many of these medicinal plants are still used today, but we are looking into their history not their modern applications.

Help us continue the story with your support during the Covid19 closure. You can make one time or ongoing donations here 👉 http://oldoperatingtheatre.com/support-us
All funds go to support the museum and the collection.

Today we really want you to meet another extraordinary #frontliner: Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake (1840–1912), an English phys...
21/07/2020

Today we really want you to meet another extraordinary #frontliner: Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake (1840–1912), an English physician, teacher, and feminist. Armed originally with a private education, she fought very hard for her right to study medicine. Jex-Blake wrote an essay in 1869 titled “Medicine as a profession for women” where she argued that there was no objective proof of women's intellectual inferiority to men. She said that the matter could easily be tested by granting women 'a fair field and no favour'- teaching them as men were taught and subjecting them to exactly the same examinations. She and six other women, collectively known as the Edinburgh Seven, began studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1869. Their competence angered many of their male peers, which led to the Surgeon’s Hall Riot of 1870. When the Edinburgh Seven tried to pass their examination, they were met by an angry mob of 200 people throwing mud, rubbish, and insults to them. The medical authorities then decided not to let them graduate. Sophia Jex-Blake earned her MD at the University of Berne in Switzerland in 1877. She became the first practising female physician in Scotland, and one of the first in the wider United Kingdom. Throughout her life she became a leading campaigner for medical education for women and was involved in founding two medical schools for women, in London and Edinburgh at a time when no other medical schools were training women. Jex-Blake was also in a romantic relationship with Dr Margaret Todd, and when she retired 1899, they moved to Windydene, Mark Cross, Rotherfield. Her home became a meeting place for former students and colleagues, and she welcomed writers and acquaintances from the world over. What an amazing woman! Today we salute you, Sophia Jex-Blake!

Did you know that you can purchase the museum's guide in our  online shop here 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/ ? ...
21/07/2020

Did you know that you can purchase the museum's guide in our online shop here 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/ ? Get ready for your visit by reading this ahead of time, or consider pre-buying it an picking up your copy when you arrive to the museum for a visit!

Consider supporting the museum by either booking a visit with us or making a purchase as all income from admissions and shop sales is invested back into the upkeep of our historic space, its collection and exciting programming. Help us recover from the Covid19 closure! Thank you for your support! ❤️

It's Monday! AGAIN! Are you ready to accept our Monday Challenge? Here is a slightly more difficult jigsaw puzzle for yo...
20/07/2020

It's Monday! AGAIN! Are you ready to accept our Monday Challenge? Here is a slightly more difficult jigsaw puzzle for you to put together: our apothecary counter and Victorian pill maker! Share your times for epic bragging rights! Go to puzzle here 👉 http://ow.ly/rkPv50Aw4nA

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday and Sunday during the Summer from 10:30 am til...
20/07/2020

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday and Sunday during the Summer from 10:30 am till 5:00 pm. This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:

-A whole new range of safe social distance programming and hygiene protocols in place.

-Timed entries and a scheduled, staff controlled route means your group will remain safely socially distanced from others during your visit. The visit will last 45 minutes.

-A whole new contactless trail throughout the Museum will allow you to engage with everything using your own smartphone. For your convenience we have installed WIFI i the museum that you will be able to access for FREE!

-Included in your ticket price to the Museum is a brand NEW London Bridge Local History Map as well as a fun Old Op Quiz to complete at home.

These temporary measures are there to ensure the safety of our staff, your safetey and your enjoyment of the Museum during these difficult times.

Visit our website to learn more about planning your group’s next day out 👉 https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

Attention Tea Lovers: Why not try one of our two #exclusive blends of teas that have been specially blended for us by th...
19/07/2020

Attention Tea Lovers: Why not try one of our two #exclusive blends of teas that have been specially blended for us by the @TeaPeopleltd ? Our Lamplighter will give you a gentle kick with its black tea, lavender, and vanilla extract, while our Clockwinder will relax you with chamomile, rose petals, apple pieces and linde blossoms! Trusts us! These teas are delicious and a must for every tea pantry! Find them in our online shop here 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/ .
Consider supporting the museum by making a purchase as all income from shop sales is invested back into the upkeep of our historic space, its collection and exciting programming. Help us recover from the Covid19 closure! Thank you for your support! ❤️

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday and Sunday during the Summer from 10:30 am til...
18/07/2020

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday and Sunday during the Summer from 10:30 am till 5:00 pm. This is what you can expect when you come to the museum:

-A whole new range of safe social distance programming and hygiene protocols in place.

-Timed entries and a scheduled, staff controlled route means your group will remain safely socially distanced from others during your visit. The visit will last 45 minutes.

-A whole new contactless trail throughout the Museum will allow you to engage with everything using your own smartphone. For your convenience we have installed WIFI i the museum that you will be able to access for FREE!

-Included in your ticket price to the Museum is a brand NEW London Bridge Local History Map as well as a fun Old Op Quiz to complete at home.

These temporary measures are there to ensure the safety of our staff, your safetey and your enjoyment of the Museum during these difficult times.

Visit our website to learn more about planning your group’s next day out 👉 https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday & Sunday during the #Summer from 10:30 am-5:00...
18/07/2020

We’re ready to welcome you back from the 25th of July, and every Saturday & Sunday during the #Summer from 10:30 am-5:00 pm. Visit our website to learn more about planning your group’s next day out 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/visiting-us/
#OldOpTheatre #BackInLondonBridge #HistMed #staycation

Would you look at that exclusive tea towel! What an educational and original design! Everybody should receive one as the...
17/07/2020

Would you look at that exclusive tea towel! What an educational and original design! Everybody should receive one as the most perfect quirky gift! Guess what? Now you can buy it when you head over to our online shop here 👉https://oldoperatingtheatre.com/shop/ . Consider supporting the museum by making a purchase as all income from shop sales is invested back into the upkeep of our historic space, its collection and exciting programming. Help us recover from the Covid19 closure! Thank you for your support! ❤️

Address

9A St Thomas Street
London
SE1 9RY

London Bridge Underground and Train Station

Opening Hours

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