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






MAY 2015



Night of The Bodysnatcher


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.


6.30pm May 27th


Over the centuries Anatomists and Artists have formed close partnerships.
Anatomists need artists to illustrate their books, while artists need to know their anatomy to reproduce the beauty and mystery of the human body.

An Illustrated lecture by Prof Harold Ellis, RCSE, CBE, heart surgeon to the Royal Westminster

bookings via eventbrite


illustration BELL, Sir Charles (1774-1842)
watercolour drawing of the brain.
courtesy of Wellcome images


JULY 2015

6.30pm July 8th



The remains of Richard III were discovered in a Leicester car park in 2012 and recently reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. Forensic tests identified the body as Richard's 'beyond reasonable doubt'.

Join award-winning pathologist Dr Suzy Lishman to learn more about how this conclusion was reached and discover what a modern-day post mortem examination might have uncovered. With the help of a live model, Dr Lishman will explore what Richard's body might tell us about how he lived and died.



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.