Surgeons' Hall Museums
Surgeons’ Hall Museums (SHM), part of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, houses one of the largest and most historic collections of artefacts charting the history and development of surgery. The collections include surgical instruments and artworks and one of the largest collections of anatomical specimens in the world. These specimens are displayed in the Wohl Pathology Museum, which is located within the iconic building designed by William Playfair in 1832.
All of the exhibits which have made SHM world-famous will be back on display: including a pocket book made from the skin of the infamous murderer, William Burke; and exhibits relating to Dr Joseph Bell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s teacher and main inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, the highlight of which is a letter from the author crediting his mentor as such.
The reopened SHM, whose transformation has been supported by a £2.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, will also feature even more interactive and display exhibits, which will help visitors from all around the world discover the stories and breakthroughs that have shaped modern surgical practice.
Museum, Heritage site
7 days a week 10am-5pm
£6 Adults. £3.50 Concessions.
- International Council of Museums
- Museums Association
Toilets - There are toilets in the basement. All toilets are fully accessible.
Restaurants and cafés - The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is home to Café 1505 and the Ten Hill Place Hotel & Wine Bar.
Baby Changing - Baby changing facilities are in the basement floor.
The museums contain objects in 9 main categories: anatomical and pathological specimens; casts and models; histological preparations; furniture; paintings and other works of art; photographic prints and slides; voice, video and other recordings; surgical and other instruments; and miscellaneous items.
Medicine, Weapons and War
Key artists and exhibits
- Charles Bell
- Joseph Lister
- Robert Liston
- Robert Knox
- Burke and Hare
- James Young Simpson
- William Playfair
- William Henry Playfair
Samhain at Surgeons' Hall Museums
- 31 October 2015 10am-8pm
Surgeons' Hall Museums takes part in the first October Museums at Night Festival. Haunting tales and songs to welcome the darker half of the year with a special musical performance from Wendy Carle Taylor, art classes from Edinburgh Sketcher, drop-in printmaking workshops with Susie Wilson, and anatomically correct body painting from Art & Anatomy.
£6 Adults, £3.50 concessions
Surgeons' Hall Museums
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
18 Nicolson Street
0131 527 1711