27 June 2022

The Old Operating Theatre – a delight

Last month, after years of walking past The Old Operating Theatre and thinking, 'I must go in there some day soon' I walked past and thought to myself, 'I must go in there some day soon' and then I stopped, turned round and said, 'no, go in there NOW!' 

And I am so glad I did. Finally. They suggest it's a 45-minute experience but I was in there well over twice that. There's lots to see and find out up there including some quite scary surgical implements intermingled with beautiful books and other acoutrements of the trade. 

The volunteers who assists there are full of fabulous facts and info – I really enjoyed the interaction with them which was probably why I was there so long. On the day I visited I was one of only four people up there and I sat in the theatre for ages simply contempleting the room and imagining the noise and mess of the past. The whole space, including the wooden room that houses the museum, complete with it's creaky floor and cabinets full of curiosties, is a delight will definitely return, either alone again or with any friend who also has never set foot inside as I am sure that they too will love it.

The museum is just a stone's throw from Borough Market, London Bridge, Guy's Hospital, and that tall spiky thing. Getting up to and inside is via this door at the foot of the church bell tower and then a climb up a one-way narrow spiral staircase, so be aware that this is not a wheelchair-friendly museum. Find out more here.

This has got me thinking about all the other places that I walk past and think 'I must go in there some day soon' which includes Dr Johnson's House. Really. Hard to believe, I know. I did try once but it was closing in ten minutes.  

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Thanks, Jane