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Here’s an oddball place in London:  The Old Operating Theatre.  Barbara and I took a long walk along the River Thames and detoured to visit this interesting site located near London Bridge and right by the new Shard.

Originally part of St. Thomas’ Hospital, this Operating Theatre was built in the attic of St. Thomas’ Church to help train apprentice surgeons.  After St. Thomas’ Hospital moved to another location, the Operating Theatre was closed up and hidden away for almost 100 years.  When rediscovered in the late 1950’s, it was like opening a time capsule with a look back at surgical practices in the early to mid 1800’s.

We were fortunate to have arrived during a group visit, when a docent was giving a lecture and demonstration.  Well, maybe not “fortunate”, as she showed us the amputation tools, describing and demonstrating how amputations and other surgical procedures were performed in the early 1800’s.  Gruesome!  I’m happy I’m living in the 21st century, with anesthesia and antibiotics!

Human specimens at the Old Operating Theatre