Summer Events at The Old Operating Theatre Museum


at The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret


August; Tuesday 3rd, Tuesday 10th, Tuesday 17th & Tuesday 24th at 2pm

Sir Hans Sloane: The Odyssey of Chocolate Workshop

 Discover the fascinating story of chocolate's long, rich history, from it's early usage by the ancient Aztecs, who drank chocolate as a bitter beverage during religious and social ceremonies, to the explosion and mass production of chocolate throughout Europe in the nineteenth century!

For centuries chocolate has symbolised: wealth, health and love across a diverse range of cultures as well as being the nation's favourite tasty treat of choice. The odyssey of chocolate aims to explore many aspects of the rich social significance of chocolate's history!

The workshop is suitable for all ages and includes sampling different variations of chocolate in it's modern form, as well as designing your own chocolate label.



Thursday 5th and Thursday 12th August at 2pm

From Garden to Garret: The Apothecary Tour

An ‘Apothecary Tour’ exploring the historical use of medicinal plants.

The tour starts within the fresh herb garden of St George the Martyr Church, Southwark where the medicinal herbs of the Herb Garret are now planted. There will then be a short walk to the oak beamed Herb Garret of Old St Thomas’ Hospital,where there will be a hands on demonstration of traditional medicinal preparations. Explore St Thomas amd Guy's Hospitals' pharmaceutical history via the herbal arts of infusion, poultice, pills and tablet making.

Meeting point: St George’s Garden opposite St George’s Church Southwark, Borough High St. Nearest Tube - Borough.



Friday 13th and Friday 20th at 3pm

 Nature Morte- Still Life In The Garret!

An educational activity that aims to use artistic practise to explore  medical artefacts. Each session will consider a range of historic objects taken from the museums handling collection and display exhibitions.The workshop will last just over an hour, paper and pencils will be provided by the museum. No experience of drawing is necessary and is open to all ages of children and adults. From forceps to bleeding instruments - Arm yourself with a pencil and draw!



Wed 4th, Wed 18th, Wed 25th at 3pm and 4pm over 12 only

The Gore Tour...The House of Instruments

 Hands on surgery!. A tour of the museum. via instrumants of the most horrible surgical procedures...

 Dare to handle the harsh instruments of healing history!




Thu 26th August 3 pm over 15 only


 The Herbs of the Dark Art- Herbs & Witchcraft


There has always been a strong fascinating relationship between herbs, folklore and even witchcraft in English countryside and in the rest of the world. Wise women and shamans often took the role of doctors in tribes and small rural villages using herbal remedies to cure physical and supernatural afflictions.

 From the mandrake's scream to witches unguent join us for a talk on medicine and

 magic among the smells and spells of our atmospheric garret.









Thursday 12th August at 6.30 pm

Vampires and Werewolves among us?
Legends and Scientific Reality

led by bioarcheologist and palaeopathologist Anastasia Tsaliki


Due to recent TV shows and films such as the Twilight Saga, there is an increased popular interest on vampires and shape-shifters. This talk will explore the fascinating origins and the folklore of the vampires and the werewolves, but it will also study the reality behind these legends from an archaeological and medical viewpoint.

Who were those accused and tried of vampirism or lycanthropy through history?
Where did they live? Who was Dracula? Are there real vampires?

Come along to find out, but beware as this talk is not suitable for the faint-hearted and those under 15!

Over 15s

£6 (no conc)



Thursday 19th August at 6.30

Enlightenment Surgery- William Cheselden, who could cut for the stone in 54 seconds! Samuel Sharpe, the eye surgeon who could cut out your cataracts!

A talk about the rise of the scientific surgeon in the 18th century and the end of the Barber Surgeons Company.Hear about some of the surgeons who joined the Royal Society and worked to elevate the status of the profession, their practice of the science of anatomy, the operations they developed and the instruments of surgery that they used.

Over 15s

£6 (no conc)


 coming soon- dates to be confirmed

Medicine from Plants: A Workshop!

Come and help 17th century apothecary Juliana! Learn about plants and make medicine with them in the atmosphere of the herb garret of the old St Thomas' Hospital.





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.

 Booking is strongly advised. Call 0207 188 2679

or email to reserve a place



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