Whilst I love all things theatre, artsy and travely – I must admit that I am also a huge science geek. I do have a science degree and a science based job after all. So when I was googling things to do on a spare friend-less afternoon in London and stumbled across the Hunterian Museum, I knew it’d be worth a visit!
The museum is located inside the Royal College of Surgeons, a gorgeous big old building in a beautiful part of Central London. Essentially, it’s a few rooms filled with preserved dead bodies/body parts but its not as gruesome as it sounds. The rooms are lined with floor to ceiling glass cases which are filled to the brim with specimens preserved by the incredible John Hunter, a pioneer in medicine and surgery in the 1700s. When you’re standing gazing at these perfectly preserved pieces, its hard to believe they’re hundreds of years old.
Upstairs you are taken on a journey through the intriguing history of surgery; from its beginnings where an operation often consisted of having your leg chopped off with a rusty old saw right through to modern day key-hole procedures. The discovery of antibiotics and anaesthesia along the way have incredibly transformed surgery from ‘dicing with death’ to relatively safe and pain free. On your journey you are shown photographs, equipment and instruments that were used back in the day – providing a history lesson like no other. Take the time to read the captions for the pieces and see what they were used for – it is truly fascinating and slightly terrifying.
I spent around an hour and a half to two hours exploring this museum, that included taking the time to read most of the captions and sitting watching videos of entire surgical procedures (not for the squeamish). You could easily spend a lot less time here or much much more – its only a small space but it really is jam packed with interesting stuff! The best things about it is that it is absolutely free!! There is a donation pot at the entrance, which I suggest popping a couple of pounds into – but you can enjoy a nosey around this fabulous museum for absolutely nothing if you so wish to.
I highly recommend a visit for all you fellow science lovers out there! Find out more on the Hunterian Museum Website !!
Thanks so much for reading! What are your favourite museums in London? Let me know in the comments down below! Like and Share if you enjoyed!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the museum as there are a number of signs up asking visitors to refrain from photography but there are plenty of pics over on their website!