Hunterian Museum, Holborn: A treasure trove of surgical strangeness

If you thought the jarred specimens at the Natural History Museum were cool, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Based at the Royal College of Surgeons, the Hunterian Museum is dubbed ‘Holborn’s best-kept secret’. Within its walls stands a vast collection of human and animal specimens, many of them in various states of gestation or dissection. Much of the collection is the work of John Hunter, an 18th-Century surgeon, teacher and pioneer of experimental ‘scientific surgery’.

Among the highlights at the museum are the skeleton of the 7ft 7ins ‘Irish Giant’, human brains, a plaster cast of Isaac Newton’s death mask and the story of how Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger timed his owned jaw operation, without anaesthetic.

hunterian museum Crystal gallery 1LGE
Image: courtesy of the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons of England

What’s more, it’s free (suggested donation is £2) and small enough to be pleasant even on a Saturday afternoon.

Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, closed Sunday and Monday

Nearest Tube: Holborn

More information:

Featured image courtesy of the Hunterian Museum

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