Scottish fact of the week: Surgeon’s Hall Museum

Preserved exhibits in Edinburgh's Surgeon's Hall Museum. Picture: Dan Phillips

Preserved exhibits in Edinburgh's Surgeon's Hall Museum. Picture: Dan Phillips

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SURGEON’S Hall Museum is home to a potted history of Scottish medicine - sometimes astounding, other times gruesome, but always fascinating.

Only a short walk from Edinburgh’s city centre, the museum’s exhibits outline, in vivid detail, the early days of medicine, and shines a spotlight on just how much the profession has changed since the museum’s establishment in 1832.

Surgeon's Hall. Picture: TSPL

Surgeon's Hall. Picture: TSPL

Among its permanent exhibits is The Real Sherlock Holmes, which draws links between author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and surgeon Joseph Bell, whose method of diagnosis inspired Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes.

Plastic surgery, eye disorders and dentistry also take pride of place.

Specimens for some collections date back to the late 17th century, and together they form a treasure trove of the macabre - preserved embryos, deformed body parts and tumours, among other things.

Being an Edinburgh museum, the story of Burke and Hare is prominent. Burke, who was caught and hanged for the duo’s prolific string of murders in 1829, is preserved in a notebook made from his skin.

SEE ALSO: Detecting signs in Holmes from home

SEE ALSO: Surgeons’ Hall Museum: A dead interesting visit

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