A unique place for a School or Group visit!

“This is not a sanitised museum, but then, St. Thomas’s Old Operating Theatre was never a sanitised place to be operated in.” The Independent

A visit to the Museum is an experience that gives individuals a profound insight into the past, stimulating interest in a whole range of issues about past and present health. Download your Teacher Pack here, for all the information you need to plan your visit!

School Visits tailored to fit The National Curriculum. The Museum provides ample opportunities to explore subjects on the National Curriculum. It is particularly popular with students studying the ‘Medicine through Time’ syllabus and Key Stage 2 groups learning about Victorian life. The combination of medical science and herbal healing also means that there are many other subjects education staff can cover in educational sessions.

Group visits for Medical Professionals We have extensive experience of providing educational visits to Medical and general interest groups. We can combine museum talks with a walk around the remains of Old St. Thomas’s and Guy’s Hospitals, by special arrangement or can take a group on our Public Health walk.

Educational Sessions

Victorian Surgery Demonstration Museum staff reconstruct the atmosphere of an operation in the time before the discovery of anaesthesia and antiseptic surgery. This session is tailored for those studying the ‘Medicine Through Time’ curriculum (KS4/5), although it is suitable for all age groups and is by far our most popular session.


Victorian Health Care This programme is tied into the ‘Victorians’ Curriculum for KS2. The talk begins in the herb attic where children look at the development of medicine through the Victorian era and re-enact herbal remedies. The Victorian Surgical demonstration can be covered in this session although it will be adjusted to be appropriate for the age group. The second half of the talk provides an insight into the wider context of health care in the 19th Century.

Hands-On Activities in the Herb Garret This session can be tailored for all ages and in very popular with life-long learning groups. Education staff give an insight into life before the modern age of science. For KS1 and KS2 groups this session allows children to become apothecaries and grind herbs with a mortar and pestle, make pills and other medicines, and can easily be crossed with other areas of the curriculum such as art.

Adult groups Museum staff are happy to provide talks and demonstrations for all groups larger than 10 by special arrangement. Talks are tailored for those with a general interest in the building, the collection and medical history, and normally climax in an amputation.

Walks We provide guided walks around the local area for groups that are looking to learn more about medical history. The area around the museum witnessed important events in the development of the health care system and walks allow the museum to accommodate large groups in a session swapping format. Please see the links below for more details on the guided walks.


  • There is no additional charge when booking a lecture. Booking can be cancelled up to a week prior the day of the visit- if after or the group doesn’t arrive a cancellation fee of £50 will be applied.
  • Due to limited capacity, please respect your time slot. If a group arrives early it may have to wait outside; if late the museum may won’t be able to provide the lecture or walk due to other bookings
  • During School Holidays and Half Term week we are unable to accomodate school or large private groups
  • We can only accept max 58/60 people ino the museum at any one time, including teachers and leaders and staff. This is due to fire safety regulations. This means groups should be only of a size, which allows the museum to stay open to other visitors, who will have to be allowed access to all areas of the museum at all times.
  • Educational lectures are open to all Museum visitors, therefore no groups have exclusive access to the operating theatre and the public are free to quietly join the lecture as required.
  • Group leaders please ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
  • Group bookings are restricted at weekends because as we have a limit on visitor numbers we do not want to disappoint visitors to the museum. So we do not accept group bookings on Saturdays. Special arragements can be made for small groups on Sunday.
 Booking Details
Teachers Pack  Education Walks; Public Health and more!
Educational Resourcesspacer image Groups and Societies
Other things to do, places to visitspacer imageNew Apothecary Pack

As well as school visits, the Museum has engaged in numerous special Education Projects in the past.

Click here to read about some of them in more detail.

Teachers tell us that few other educational visits compare with the impact the Old Operating Theatre Museum makes. It has:

  • IMMEDIATE IMPACT The Victorian Surgery demonstration makes the past become a vivid reality.
  • RIGHT SIZE The size of the Museum is ideal – not too big to overwhelm the pupil, nor too small to offer sufficient stimulus and diversity.
  • PERSONAL SERVICE Each group gets a dramatic talk, tailored to your exact needs, and given by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable curators. The talks are based around a reconstruction of a 19th Century Operation, or on a series of activities based in the Herb Garret that is a wonderful cross-curricula programme.
  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Our education service is coordinated by our Education Officer and delivered by trained education staff and knowledgeable curators.

‘We are thoroughly looking forward to our 20th Annual visit and lurid demonstration’

Clarendon House Grammar School, Head of History

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