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The Oldest Operating Theatre In Britain in the unique timber framed Herb Garret German Guide Spanish Guide


The Old Operating Theatre Museum is one of the most unusual museums in London. The Operating Theatre is the oldest in Europe and found in a unique space in the Herb Garret of St Thomas Church, and was part of old St Thomas Hospital.

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The Old Operating Theatre Museum is listed as:

 101 things to do in London

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What They Said About us - 'Highlight of my trip to London' Tripadvisor. 'Best Museum Entrance we have ever seen!'

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Competition to win 2 signed copies of E.S. Thomson's book 'Beloved Poison'.

The author ES Thomson was inspired by the Old Operating Theatre Museum to write her novel 'Beloved Poison', which is set in a mid 19th century hospital in London. To win, please check an extract of the novel below and answer the following question:

What is the name of the hospital, which was inspired by the Old Operating Theatre Museum?


All answers by email to info@oldoperatingtheatre.com, competition closes on Fri 18 March 2016 at midnight.

Good luck!

E.S. Thomson: Beloved Poison

"I turned to leave; the cold of the place was eating into my bones. But Will did not follow. ‘What’s this?’ He was pointing to a wooden panel, no more than eighteen inches square, that was embedded low in the wall beside the altar. It looked to be made of oak, and was dark and pitted with age. It had slipped a little in its casing, and behind it we could glimpse a dark, rectangular space. Other than a small cross-shaped hole cut into its centre, it was quite unmarked. I had never noticed it before. ‘May I?’ Without waiting for an answer, he hooked his finger into the cross and gave a tug. It lifted out easily.

Within was a cavity, dark and cobwebbed. I crouched down, and squinted inside. ‘There’s something in there,’ I said.

As I crouched in the dusty stillness of St Saviour’s derelict chapel, peering into the shadows of that dusty hole, an icy dread seemed to grip my heart. I could not account for it, though after the bustle and din of the infirmary the air of the place felt dead, its silence and shadows oppressed me, and its atmosphere was as cold as the grave. It was a building I rarely entered, and one in which I never lingered. But we had started now, and there was no going back. I stretched my hand into the cavity. Something wrinkled and papery shifted beneath my fingertips. Was it parchment? Dried flesh? I could not quite get a purchase on it, and it moved away from my grasp like a live thing recoiling from the light. But I was curious now, and I thrust my hand in further.

The object I drew out was dusty and mildewed, and blotched with dark rust-coloured stains. It smelled of time and decay, sour, like old books and parchments. The light from the chapel’s stained glass window blushed red upon it, and upon my hands, as if the thing itself radiated a bloody glow.

‘What is it?’ Will’s voice was a whisper, though he could see as well as I what it was that we had found. No more than six inches long and three inches wide, it was a coffin, small and dirty, the signs of the knife that had created it visible in crude hack-marks at its edges. I could feel something moving within, and it was all I could do not to drop the thing onto the floor in horror. What did it signify? Were there more of them hidden in that dark, forgotten space? I stooped down, and slid my hand back into the opening."



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