The Old Operating Theatre and herb garret Museum

The Reach OOTMR
Give thank's for the NHS

A historical day out 

Located in historically rich, Old Southwark, up a narrow staircase spiralling inside of an medieval church, sits an old operating theatre. Now a museum, the space was once a herb garret, where the apothecaries for St. Thomas’ hospital would dry herbs and store medicines until 1822 when it became an operating theatre for the woman’s ward. In 1862 it became out of use, it wasn’t until 1956 when Raymond Russell, researching St. Thomas’ history re visited the deserted space.

Old Herbs and spices.
Taken By J. Halden

The museum has a lot of fascinating things to see, all the medicines and horrifyingly torturous looking medical devices even tape worms will show you just how far health care has come. 

The Old operating theatre is lit by an old skylight intentionally positioned above the operating table. As I lay there on the operating table trying to time travel back to the 1800’s, I could see the crowd of people observing as I was being amputated. Looking  at the knives, saws and other tools used by the surgeons might make you faint.


The Museum has a gift shop where you can buy toy eyeballs, syringe pens and more cool gifts that will make this day out extra memorable! A great experience for a fair price, I would recommend you go there.



No wheel chair access

Old operating theatre and herb garrett

9a St. Thomas Street

London SE1 9RY

See map

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, and bank holiday Monday from 10.30am – 5pm


Full price adult: £6.50

Concession: £5

Under 18: £3.50

Family ( 2 adults + up to 2 under 18s): £15 (+ £1 for additional child)