The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, London

>>  Friday, April 25, 2014

 I'm forever on the look out for a cheap and different place to visit on our London days out.

We needed to be in London this week in Lambeth, so we walked afterwards to London Bridge to the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret.  The entrance is a small door in the side of old St Thomas's Church on St Thomas's Street.

You go up a small spiral wooden staircase to get to the actual entrance.  This is not for the faint hearted or for those with small children, buggies or luggage.

But once in, it is a treasure trove of herbal medicine, there is so much to see and in quite a small space in the garratt (roof space) of the church.

 In 1862 the hospital moved from this site and the operating theatre was partly dismantled and the entrances were blocked up.  It was all but forgotten and rediscovered in 1956 when someone needed to fix a broken pane of glass in the skylight.
 It has been restored with great care.
 It's hard to imagine the noise, the smell and the pain suffered here by the patients all those years ago.  There are 2 layers of floorboards with a sawdust packing between to stop the blood spilling into the church ceiling below.

Gory times.
It's a cheap visit at £6.50 for adults and £3.50 for children but I had a 2-1 voucher with my railcard. National Trust members also get a 50% discount.

There aren't any toilets here but Borough Market is only over the road which is also ideal for a street side snack.  We walked through the market and a little bit to the Anchor pub, for a drink, and it has lots of seating and loos! 


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