Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

South Bank

This unique museum, 32 steps up a spiral stairway in the tower of St Thomas Church (1703), is the unlikely home of Britain's oldest surviving operating theatre. Rediscovered in 1956, the attic was used by the apothecary of St Thomas’ Hospital to store medicinal herbs. The museum looks back at the horror of 19th-century medicine, all pre-anaesthetic and pre-antiseptic. You can browse the natural remedies, including snail water for venereal disease, and recoil at the fiendish array of amputation knives and blades.

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