For the Care of the Sick: A Brief History of Old St Thomas’ Hospital

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Join Monica A. Walker, Ph.D. in Art History, in this virtual event to discover the fascinating history of how Old St Thomas’ Hospital firmly established London Bridge as a centre of a medical culture that still is developing as you read this.

During the Middle Ages, many monasteries had an infirmary and a hospital where they treated the sick. This was also the case for the Augustinian Priory of St Mary Overie, later known as the Priory of St Thomas Beckett that was located where Southwark Cathedral now stands. This Priory was destroyed by a fire in 1212, and soon afterwards the monastic community obtained a new site on the east side of what is now Borough High Street. This new site was to become Old St Thomas’ Hospital! Saint Thomas’ then provided shelter for the sick, the needy and the dying for the next 650 years. Throughout this time, the hospital went through several renovations, moving away from a monastic context and creating in its wake a new identity more in tune with the concept of “hospital” that we have today. Joined in 1725 by Guy’s Hospital, these United Hospitals created a precious opportunity not only as a place of healing, but as a place of learning.

Dr. Monica Walker is the Engagement and Front of House Manager at the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret and has been researching the history of Old St Thomas’ for the past five years. Join her in this journey filled with historical facts and funny anecdotes! You will have the opportunity to ask questions via the “chat” function after the talk.


  • Please note this an online event only
  • This will be a virtual event and ticket holders will have access to the recording for a week after they receive the link. Ticketholders will receive a link to join the talk 15 minutes before the start of the event. If for whatever reason ticketholders can’t make the live event, they will have access to the recording of the event for three days after they receive the link.
  • All income from ticket sales goes to support the upkeep of the museum, a registered charity, and the collection

Event Detail

May 12, 2022 6:00 pm
May 12, 2022 7:00 pm
Virtual Event


Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret