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London attractions: The Old Operating Theatre provides a gruesome glimpse into the past

Published: Saturday 29th of September 2012

People looking for eerie things to do in London that will give them the chills could opt for a trip to the Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret to learn about the gruesome surgical procedures of the past.

Touted as "one of the most unusual museums in London," the Operating Theatre is found high up in the attic space of the Herb Garret of St Thomas Church, having once been part of old St Thomas Hospital.

It is the oldest operating theatre in Europe, having being built back in 1822, and is a sobering reminder of the brutal reality of life before modern science and technology.

The Operating Theatre has been restored with original furniture, including a 19th Century operating table, while the museum tells the history of herbal medicine, surgery and nursing.

Visitors can watch weekly demonstration Speed Surgery - Surgery in the 19th Century, which takes place every Saturday at 2pm.

This is a surgical demonstration within the Old Operating Theatre. Before the advent of anaesthesia, an operation had to be very quick, and as hand-washing and antiseptics were not in use, the risk of infection was high.

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Posted by Georgina Black

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