The hidden operating theatre



The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is a museum of surgical history and one of the oldest surviving operating theatres. It is located in the garret of St Thomas’s Church, Southwark, on the original site of St Thomas’ Hospital. This photo shows the reconstruction of the theatre as it would have looked while in use.


Built in 1822, the operating theatre was used for 40 years, when the hospital moved to a different location. The garret was walled up;  it was forgotten, and remained undiscovered until 1957.   Read more at Wikipedia and The Old Operating Theatre website.

For your gratuitous edification and mine – I had to go scurrying to the dictionary for this one – the “garret” referred to is “a habitable attic or small (and possibly dismal or cramped) living space at the top of a house.”


Place Saint-Georges in Paris, showing top-floor garret windows.



Carl Spitzweg, The poor poet (Der arme Poet), 1839, showing a garret dwelling.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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