The Old Operating Theatre

I had never actually been to the Old Operating Theatre, up a precipitous spiral staircase on the site of the old St. Thomas’s Hospital.   Up above the seventeenth-century church, commissioned by Sir Robert Clayton, was a garret which was used to grow medicinal herbs, including opium.   In 1822, it was converted into an Operating Theatre, where students could stand in rows watching the surgeon at work:-

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One thought on “The Old Operating Theatre

  1. Mark Fisher says:

    An amazing space, it’s the oldest in London. Medicines give way to fearsome iterating instruments – saws, bone shears and forceps, and an eight pronged cervical dilator that is more like an instrument of torture. Thank heavens for the NHS!

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