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



19TH DECEMBER AT 7.00-9.30

Hear Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of horror 'The Bodysnatcher' read in the oldest 19th century operating theatre in Europe, and a lecture on the story by bodysnatching expert and author of Death, Dissection and the Destitute Ruth Richardson.

Perfect for a dark cold December night!

Please click here to book your tickets via





October 2014 is the 300th anniversary of the coronation of George I and the beginning of the Georgian era.

The Old Operating Theatre Museum marks the event with a season of talks about medicine in the Georgian age.

Thursday 15th January at 6.30 for 7pm

The Favorite Remedies of Richard Mead


Thursday 12th February at 6.30 for 7pm

A talk by the author of 'The Pox', Kevin Brown



Curiosity Cabaret
'Science inspiring art'

Monday 2nd - Sunday 7th Dec 2014

performance times coming soon

please see the Curiosity Cabaret website for Box Office details

Imagine an era when surgery is performed without anaesthesia, when aseptic technique and antibiotics do not exist. Imagine a time when doctors still cling to their superstitions and medicine is much more art than science. Imagine no further and join us as we step into The Curiosity Cabaret...

A brand new London-based production, The Curiosity Cabaret is the first ever cabaret in the style of an history of medicine lecture. The brainchild of medical doctor and circus owner Dr Clive Selwyn, our show will fuse science and the arts together to create an educational and entertaining cabaret experience. Our first instalment, The Science and History of Voice in the 19th Century, will be held at the Old Operating Theatre, a real Victorian operating theatre housing its own extensive Herb Garret Museum.





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.