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




TUE 15th at 2pm

booking is essential


The year is 1840 and Southwark has become one of the most dirtiest, smelliest, impoverish and overpopulated districts of London. Coming from the countryside you are unaccostumed to the thick smog and the squallor that surround you. It won't be long before you succumb to any one of the many contagious deadly diseases that were rife in Victorian London.
As a poor sick person where do you turn?

to St Thomas's Hospital A & E!





Art Exhibition: The Body is the Instrument of the Soul

April 24th- May 23rd 2014

A group exhibtion of international artists including

Eleanor Crook, Chantal Pollier, Lucy Lyons,
Pascale Pollier-Green, Valentina Lari, Lisa Temple-Cox and many more

©Eleanor Crook

Museums at Night 2014:

"Night of The Bodysnatcher"

16 May 2014 time & price to be confirmed

Thoughout the 18th and early 19th century, surgeons and their students sought increased access to anatomy. But with legal supplies of corpses limited, where could they get their subjects from?

A talk in the dark atmosphere of the Old Operating Theatre on the gruesome profession of the Resurrectionists, the men who supplied the dissecting rooms of London from the graves of the city, the tricks of the their trade and the stories of their gruesome work.

Someone is waiting in the shadow...

Recent events


This May Hurt a Bit

Wed 19th March & Fri 21th at 7.00pm

“It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily and rapidly as folly”

A month after stating “we will stop the top-down reorganisation of the NHS that has got in the way of patient care”, the government launched the biggest top-down reorganisation the service had seen in its 65-year history.
With wit, tenderness, and dives into surrealism, Stella Feehily’s new play explores one family’s journey through the digestive system of the NHS, and asks: what is the prognosis for this much-loved institution?
A "radio-play" style performance, with a cast including Stephanie Cole (Waiting for God, Coronation Street, Open All Hours, Tenko, Doc Martin). Director Max Stafford-Clark is the founder and director of Out of Joint and a former artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre.

“Wonderful writing… Stella Feehily’s best work to date”
Whatsonstage.com on Bang Bang Bang

“A witty and compassionate play”
Financial Times on Dreams of Violence

“This is must-see modern morality… The Royal Court rang to laughter”
Daily Mail on O go my Man

“A bright, sharp, funny first play about a drifting teenager in Dublin… Entirely believable”
The Guardian on Duck


MARCH 30th at 2pm



Why give your mum only a bunch of flowers?

Treat her to a lovely talk on the use of flowers in medicine given by our knowledgeable staff in the atmospheric garret of the old Saint Thomas's Church.



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.