Victorian surgery at the Old Operating Theatre

Address:
Old Operating Theatre, 9A St. Thomas’s Street, Southwark, London 51.505016 -0.088211
Dates & Time:
Every Saturday (unless replaced by a special event)
Starts at 2 PM
Tickets & Cost:
Adult £6.50; Senior £5; Child (under 16) £3.50; Family (up to 2 adults and 4 children) £14
Booking is recommended, as you might not get a place if you just turn up on the day. There is a maximum capacity of 60 people
See for more details
Note: This event is not recommended for children under the age of 12
Telephone:
The contact number for Old Operating Theatre is +44 (0) 207 188 2679
Minicabs:
Book a minicab near Old Operating Theatre
Buses:
The following bus routes go near Old Operating Theatre: 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521, RV1
London bus fares 2017
Trains:
The best London underground train stations to visit Old Operating Theatre are Borough Cannon Street London Bridge Monument
Note: The actual closest train station to Old Operating Theatre is London Bridge
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Disclaimer: London Drum has no association with Old Operating Theatre. Whilst we make every effort to ensure the event information is accurate, museum exhibitions in London are sometimes cancelled or amended without us being notified. You should always reconfirm the museum exhibition with Old Operating Theatre before making plans

Read The London Craig blog> Craig has been here before. Read his review of the Old Operating Theatre

Enjoy some speed surgery -- Victorian style!

In the days before anaesthesia and antibiotics had been invented operations had to be extremely quick, because the chances of a patient dying on the table or getting an infection were high. (And also the constant screaming must have got on their nerves.) If the patient was lucky he would pass out from the pain within the first few seconds, but if he was made of sterner stuff then all he had to dull the pain was a pre-show whiskey and a block of wood to bite on.

They were made of tough stuff in those days! We don't appreciate how nice and easy we've got it nowadays -- all we have to do now is put our pyjamas on before the doctors knock us out with some sleeping potion. But if you'd like to get a taste of the horrors that the Victorians had to endure then get yourself down to the Old Operating Theatre for a demonstration.

The Old Operating Theatre is a remarkable time-capsule that has somehow managed to survive in the rafters of the old St. Thomas's Hospital. It is sitting at the top of a tower near The Shard, and when you tiptoe up the creaky old stairs you find yourself in a... er... how can we best describe it? -- it's like a witch's cottage in the forest. It sounds daft, but you will totally understand what we mean when you see it. Check out the photos in Craig's review of the Old Operating Theatre to show you we're not joking.

The actual Operating Theatre itself is like a mini-amphitheatre, with some wooden balconies around a table in the pit. That's where the patient will be lying (screaming) while you watch (cower) in the stands. Whilst he is writhing in pain the doctor will explain some of the methods the Victorians used, and how they compare with the methods today.

Craig has never been to this actual event (he's too frightened), but have a read of that review on his blog to see what the Operating Theatre is like inside. Feel free to ask him some questions about it as well.

If you're interested in early medicine then you might like to give the Florence Nightingale Museum a try as well. Or how about the Alexander Fleming Museum in Paddington Hopsital? The Science Museum has quite a lot of exhibits about early medicine.

 

Got a question?
Talk about Victorian surgery at the Old Operating Theatre

If you enjoy Halloween events in London then you might like these other London events…

Medieval Banquet, with minstrels and knights – Wednesday to SundayCome and enjoy a medieval banquet alongside English knights, singing minstrels, and the great King Henry VIII himself.

Spooky kids activities, at Benjamin Franklin’s House – 24th October 2017The Benjamin Franklin House will be laying on some free activities for kids this Halloween, with some spooky stories and games.

Museums at Night — The Craven Street Bones – 28th October 2017Discover the story of the Craven Street bones, which were uncovered in the basement of the Benjamin Franklin House.

Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care – 29th June 2016 to 15th January 2018The Science Museum's 'Wounded: Conflict, Casualties and Care' exhibition will look at medicine during the Battle of the Somme.

Fire! Fire! Great Fire of London exhibition – 23rd July 2016 to 17th April 2017This year is the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, and the Museum of London will be putting on a special exhibition.

Edmund Clark: State Control and the War of Terror – 28th July 2016 to 28th August 2017The Imperial War Museum will be putting on an exhibition by Edmund Clark, exploring State control and the War on Terror.

Crime Scene Live! — at the Natural History Museum – 9th Sept, 7th Oct, 11th Nov 2016, 20th Jan, 17th Feb, 17th Mar, 7th Apr, 5th May and 23rd Jun 2017Collect evidence around the Natural History Museum and become a CSI for a night, during "Crime Scene Live".

 

If you like Old Operating Theatre, then you might also like…

> Florence Nightingale Museum events If you like the Old Operating Theatre then you might like these events at London’s Florence Nightingale Museum as well
> Fleming Museum events If you can’t find any events at the Old Operating Theatre then maybe you can try the Fleming Museum in London
 

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