please note: events are recommended for age 12 upwards

unless otherwise stated

Weekly Weekend Demonstrations...


Every week (unless replaced by a special event)

Speed Surgery - Surgery in the 19th Century

Every Saturday 2.00pm*

(Saturdays are often very busy - so to guarantee a place please book in advance via email or phone)

A surgical demonstration presented within the original architecture of the old operating theatre of St. Thomas's Hospital of 1822. Before the advent of anaesthesia, an operation had to be swift. Without hand-washing or antiseptics, the chance of later infection was high.

Herbs, the Garret and the Old Operating Theatre

Every Sunday 2.00pm*

In the past, medicines were made from plants, animals and even precious stones.
Learn how 'drugs' such as foxglove, myrrh and unicorn horns were used.
Examine real herbs in the attic space, originally used by the apothecary of St Thomas' Hospital.

Please note - half price and 2 for 1 tickets are not valid for special events

Wed, 1 Jun at 7:00 PM
Raymond Russell,
a collector of “instruments"

The little known tale of the life of Raymond Russell (b.1922 - d. 1964), discoverer of The Old Operating Theatre, his colourful background and multifaceted career. Learn what led this troubled child of British aristocratic and German Jewish origins to seemingly eccentric collecting habits and ground-breaking discoveries.

Kate Hawnt is a singer, mother of two and PhD student. In 2013 she won a Collaborative Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to join The Making of the Modern Harpsichord Project run by the University of Southampton and the National Trust at Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire. Her main area of research is the life and work of Raymond Russell, founder of The Russell Collection, Edinburgh, to assess his impact on the development of the harpsichord in the 20th Century and his role in the revival of early music as a whole. In the course of her work she has unearthed a wealth of information about Russell and his multiple collecting activities.

Tickets via Eventbrite


Thu, Jun 16 at 7:00 PM, London
The Articulate Hand

Created and Performed by Andrew Dawson

Through movement, Andrew Dawson uncovers the grace, beauty and psychological consequences of the impairments of the hand.

The Articulate Hand is a collaboration between performance artist Andrew Dawson and Jonathan Cole, neuroscientist and author. The work articulates the experience of impairment by uniting the insight of the scientist, with the empathy of the artist. The hands are the eyes of the Skin.

Funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts award.

Tickets via Eventbrite


Tue, Jun 21 at 7:00 PM, London
Poisonous bunch-back’d toad -
was Shakespeare wrong about Richard III?

William Shakespeare's description of Richard III led to the last Plantagenet king being condemned for centuries as a deformed monster with a personality to match. The recent discovery of Richard's remains in a Leicester car park has revealed the truth about Richard's body, if not his motives.

Join award-winning pathologist Dr Suzy Lishman, President of the Royal College of Pathologists, to learn what a modern autopsy involves and what modern science has revealed about Richard's life and death.

Tickets via Eventbrite

Half Term Events
June 2016

Wed, 1 June 2016

11.00am: Victorian A&E

2.00pm: The Surgeon's Apprentice


Thurs, 2 June 2016

2.00pm: Plague and Pestilence


Recent visitors' reviews from tripadvisor and more:

"Atmospheric and fascinating - go for the events and the 2pm talk on a Saturday!

"We didn't know what to expect from this but the family really enjoyed the bizarre herbs, medicines and instruments, and the afternoon talk brought everything to life... while showing how almost everyone died!"

"Visited today with my friend. We are both nurses and found the whole place fascinating but the curator made it perfect. A lovely lady who has such passion and vitality for her job you can help but be awed. A welcoming smile from everyone. 5 stars"

All events that are included in Museum admission are presented by Museum curatorial staff, unless otherwise stated.

Two for One vouchers and discounts are not valid for special events and for groups.

When possible, the maximum number of people egible for discount is a family of a maximum of 6 members.

To avoid disappointement, please be aware that lectures included in the admssion charge requires a minimum attendance.

Events Archive


The Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret
9a St. Thomas' Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9RY
Tel. 020 7188 2679. Email: curator@thegarret.org.uk

The Events programme is organised by the Museum Staff and volunteers - in particular (in alphabetic order) Kirsty Chilton, Kevin Flude, Karen Howell, Valentina Lari, Julie Mathias, and Juliana Wakefield.


Our talks can be graphic in content, particularly where describing the history of surgery. If in doubt please contact us to discuss the content of a particular event. We give some indication of age range below. Generally, children of 7 plus will find them suitable. However, the Museum itself has plenty of activities to divert the attention of children from the toddler upwards. Booking is not normally necessary, except for our Half Term events where it is highly recommended as the Museum has a capacity of only 60.

PLEASE NOTE:We strongly advise booking, as places are limited and often in great demand. The museum is very small and has a maximum capacity of only 60 people.