Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Museums / heritage

Other details

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Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas' Hospital, this atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients' medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe.


The Lord Brock Trust’s charitable object is

To further the education of the public and medical students in the heritage of medicine, medical treatment and health care by the provision of museums and other activities and in particular by the maintenance of the building and contents of the operating theatre in the original St Thomas' Hospital (aka The Old Operating Theatre) as a place of historic interest.

It is committed to the preservation of the Operating Theatre and Herb Garret in perpetuity, to making it structurally sound for the next 50 years and enriching its collections and activities both for specialist and non-specialist audiences.

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