title-operating theatre

The Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret

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Newsletter - May 2006




Two special events in May and June coincide with Museum & Galleries Month - a joint event with the Museum of London on 27th May, and an Apothecary Tour in conjunction with London Museums of Health & Medicine on 3rd June. See www.thegarret.org.uk/events for more details.


In June 2006, following extensive roof restoration work, the Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret returns to its home in the attic of St Thomas' Church. The attic, which contains the 18th Century Herb Garret and 19th Century Operating Theatre of St Thomas' Hospital, has been closed to the public since the museum temporarily relocated in late 2005.



An exciting new addition was recently gained from the Monica Britton Medical History Collection. The book, Lorenz Heister's "General System Of Surgery", a work which dates from 1745, is the source of the museum's famous "Absolute Cure For The Ingrown Toenail" illustration.

Throughout the restoration period, the museum remained open in the Coffin Crypt of St Thomas' Church. Some 1,250 medical artefacts were relocated and displayed by a small team of part-time curatorial staff; most of the items were transported by the primary access route available to the public - a steep narrow 300-year-old spiral staircase! Our thanks go out to all those who supported the museum during this difficult period, and made the displays in the Crypt such a success. In particular the conservation students from Camberwell College who assisted with the move, conservator George Monger, and ALM London, who provided a grant to help meet conservation costs, and of course our loyal visitors, both schools and general public.



While the relocation process is underway, daily tours of the Operating Theatre will take place at 11am and 2pm.


In April 2006, the museum held a hugely successful events programme, culminating in a tour of the historic crypt of Guy's Hospital Chapel. Other events included a new lecture on trepanning, the return of the ever popular "The Surgeon, The Cadaver And The Resurrectionist", and several hands-on children's events during the Easter Holidays. Look out for more new events in late summer and autumn of 2006.


The Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret,
9a St Thomas' Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9RY.
Tel: 020 7188 2679 Email: curator@thegarret.org.uk Website: www.thegarret.org.uk

ast Updated: 16 11 2006 Home Page