A Royal Progress

Museum of the Order of St John

2nd September 2019 | 12:00AM

A new guided tour highlights the role of royals past and present in the dramatic history of the Order of St John.

This tour explores 900 years of history, from the founding of the Clerkenwell Priory under Henry II to the creation of the modern St John Ambulance organisation under Queen Victoria, and the continuing involvement of today’s Royals as patrons of the UK’s leading first aid charity. Join on a lunchtime or evening tour to see this amazing story told through our historic buildings and unique rarely seen objects from our collections.

Tours at 12.00pm or 6.30pm on selected dates from March – September

Tickets from £6

Click here to check times and book tickets

Museum Lates at the Royal College of Physicians

Royal College of Physicians Museum

5th September 2019 | 5:00PM

Visit the Royal College of Physicians Museum after hours until 8pm on the first Thursday of the month. Explore exhibitions, art, medical objects and more than 500 years of history at England’s oldest medical college.

Discover collections, featuring everything from artworks by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir Thomas Lawrence and Dame Elisabeth Frink, to scarce anatomical preparations and extraordinary medical instruments, all housed in a grade 1 listed ‘modernist masterpiece’ designed by acclaimed architect Sir Denys Lasdun. See free temporary exhibitions from our award-winning team, and join a curator-led tour.

Free 30 minute exhibition tours start at 6pm, book online now to reserve your place.

For details of the changing monthly programme of drop-in activities, talks and workshops click here to check the Royal College of Physicians website

Highlights of any visit include:

  • priceless portraits and silver displayed throughout the building
  • medical rarities such as the Symons collection of self-care instruments and medical apparatus, the Hoffbrand collection of apothecary jars and the Prujean chest of surgical tools from the era of the English Civil War
  • a remarkable set of 17th-century human remains, providing a fascinating insight into dissection and discovery in anatomy
  • regular displays from our archive and rare books collections
  • a changing programme of acclaimed temporary exhibitions

Forthcoming Museum Lates:

  • Thursday 1 August 2019
  • Thursday 5 September 2019
  • Thursday 10 October 2019 (one week later than usual)
  • Thursday 7 November 2019
  • Thursday 5 December 2019

Museum Late: The Book of Jo

Royal College of Physicians Museum

5th September 2019 | 5:30PM

The final ‘Catch your Breath’ Museum Late at the Royal College of Physicians will include a rehearsed reading of a new theatre show  created and performed by Viv Gordon and commissioned by the Life of Breath project.

The Book of Jo

The Book of Jo looks at what happens when life falls apart. How can we maintain hope when the worst happens? And why do bad things happen anyway?

A woman faced with a rare and random terminal diagnosis sits in the debris of her life contemplating meaning and social justice with the dubious help of the Old Testament story The Book of Job.


  • 6.00-6.40pm: Catch Your Breath exhibition tour, 1st floor gallery
  • 6.45-7.45pm: The Book of Jo performance and audience Q&A, 2nd floor Library Reading Room

About Viv Gordon

Viv Gordon is a theatre maker and arts activist producing feisty work about mental health, abuse and trauma narratives.  She has recently toured two shows: I am Joan an autobiographical comedy about trauma recovery and PreScribed (a life written for me) a commission from University of Bristol highlighting research into General Practitioners in mental health crisis in an NHS in meltdown. With Life of Breath, she hopes to explore connections between breath, mental health, panic and anxiety as well as illness, risk behaviours, judgement, shame and blame.

A trip to the coast: interwar first aid on the roads and the beach

Museum of the Order of St John

19th September 2019 | 7:00PM

A talk for the St John Historical Society from Professor Barry Doyle (University of Huddersfield) and Dr. Rosemary Cresswell (University of Hull). St John Ambulance established first aid huts and posts on the roads and at the seaside, and the counties south of London were particularly busy areas for accidents. This presentation will explore the role of first aiders in the period before the NHS, and will bring some of the skills they performed to life with re-enactments. (Rosemary and Barry have been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their research on the history of first aid in Britain and France between 1909 and 1989).

Guests are welcome to attend their first St John Historical Society lecture on a drop-in basis. Subsequently, we invite you to become a member of the Society.

Open House at the Royal College of Physicians

Royal College of Physicians Museum

21st September 2019 | 10:00AM

Join us for this year’s Open House with expert-led architecture tours, temporary displays from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) archive, oral history recordings and the final day of the exhibition ‘Catch your breath’.

Denys Lasdun’s Royal College of Physicians

Designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun, the RCP is one of only a handful of grade I listed post-war buildings and is a firm favourite at Open House, the annual architecture festival that champions great design for all and opens up London’s most extraordinary buildings to the public.

The RCP is one of London’s most important and provocative modern buildings, one of only ten Grade I listed post-war buildings in England. The Regent’s Park building was commissioned in 1959 and opened in 1964. It is the RCP’s fifth home since foundation in 1518.

Medicinal Garden 

The Royal College of Physicians’ garden contains 1000 species of plants all with links to medicine. The myriad stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries and from every age in recorded history. The beautifully designed garden is a wonderfully calm space in the centre of London. Its unique and bespoke collections of plants offer living examples of the history of medicine from the era of the pyramids of Egypt to today’s life-saving prescription drugs. The medicinal garden will be open throughout the day to Open House visitors with continuous tours by RCP garden fellows.

The expertise, the excellent guided tours, the exhibitions, the gardens, the volunteers who were wonderfully welcoming, enthusiastic, friendly and so so helpful. A wonderful informative and enlightening afternoon! Thank you all so much. 2018 Open House visitor

Guided Tours

Expert-led, guided tours of the building will run on the hour (10am-4pm) and last approximately 60 minutes covering the intertwined history and architecture of the RCP.  Guided tours are free and pre-book only.  Additional multimedia guides are available from the registration desk for self-guided tours.

The expertise, the excellent guided tours, the exhibitions, the gardens, the volunteers who were wonderfully welcoming, enthusiastic, friendly and so so helpful. A wonderful informative and enlightening afternoon! Thank you all so much.

Book now 

Open House London is the world’s largest architectural showcase will take place across the capital on 21 – 22 September. Over 800 buildings across London will open their doors to the public across the two-day festival, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks and architect-led tours – all for free.

The event gives the public a unique opportunity to explore and learn about how the city is developing, and discover how great design – in architecture, urban design, planning and infrastructure – can transform the lives of everyday people for the better.

This year, through a theme of Social, Open House explores what it means to live in cities today. From the way social media is creating ‘Instagrammable’ cities, to the ongoing debate on social housing and how much of this crucial resource London needs to build, to the ‘social infrastructure’ of everyday things that makes a city tick – the parks, play areas, sports, faith and recreation facilities woven into our neighbourhoods – ‘social’ spells out the urban condition.

Open House London 2019

Langdon Down Museum

22nd September 2019 | 12:00PM

Open 12pm – 5pm.

We are open to join this London-wide annual event in September.

You are welcome to look around on your own or join a talk or tour:

  • Talk at 12.30pm: Dr John Langdon Down and Normansfield
  • Talk at 2.30pm: Normansfield Theatre
  • Tours of museum and theatre at 1.30pm and 3.30pm

This event is free. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

The Joy of Sex Beyond 70 at the RCN

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

23rd September 2019 | 6:00PM

We welcome Tammy Whynot to the RCN, to lead a a frank and honest panel discussion where we talk openly about sex and ageing, from affection to fetish.

We open with a short performance of What Tammy Needs to Know About Getting Old And Having Sex. The show is an international, intergenerational mission to ask all the difficult questions, talk to those who really know and find out the truth about sex, and all its associations, at midlife and beyond. Find out more about Tammy WhyNot and her mission here.

A panel discussion and Q&A will follow. As Alex Comfort, gerontologist and author of the 1972 bestseller ‘The Joy of Sex’, emphasised growing old does not mean desire will diminish. Older age can be an opportunity for new and different intimate relationships, with sexual health advice high on the agenda.

But does society still stigmatise sex in the over 70s? What barriers might older people face in continuing a romantic life? And how can carers support safe sexual expression and intimacy?

Free event, but tickets should be booked in advance on the link below.

Faculty of Conflict & Catastrophe Medicine – Audrey Few Lecture

Worshipful Society of Apothecaries

24th September 2019 | 6:30PM

Lecture title: ‘Drowning in the Netherlands: an omnipresent risk, and yet no fear’

Speaker: Dr Joost Bierens MD PhD MCPM

Date: Tuesday 24 September 2019, 6pm

Venue: Apothecaries’ Hall Black Friars Lane London EC4V 6EJ

Dr. Bierens is a clinical active anaesthesiologist, thesis coordinator for the European Master Disaster Medicine, visiting professor at the research group emergency and disaster medicine of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), and visiting professor at the doctoral school in global health, humanitarian aid and disaster medicine at the University of Piemonte in Italy. He is considered an authority in the field of drowning and other aquatic emergencies and coordinated the first World Congress on Drowning.

Please contact:  facultycc@apothecaries.org