On the operating table

Wetherby Senior pupils donned white aprons, grabbed a saw, and held down their patient, on a trip to Europe’s oldest surviving operating theatre.

Last Friday, a number of our Year 9 visited The Old Operating Theatre, near London Bridge, as part of Field Day. Before those with a delicate stomach stop reading, our boys were merely taking part in a safe and fun interactive science experience, which helped them re-examine classwork and better understand the social history of medicine.

Head of Chemistry, Ms Ataii, explains, “Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital, The Old Operating Theatre is an atmospheric museum that offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. Last Friday, our boys visited to take part in a fascinating 90-minute interactive science experience which covered topics, related to the history of medicine, that we have been looking at in class this year.

“After our morning at The Old Operating Theatre, we returned to Marylebone, where our boys enjoyed learning more about the social history of medicine, with a lesson on medicine throughout time.”

Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, The Old Operating Theatre is reached via a narrow 52-step spiral staircase. It remains the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe, and has been open to the public as a museum since 1962.


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