Surgeons’ Hall Museum houses one of the largest and most historic collections of surgical pathology material in the United Kingdom and is located within the university campus of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. First developed as a teaching museum for students of medicine, Surgeons’ Hall opened to the general public in 1832, making it Scotland’s oldest museum.
Surgeons’ Hall features a permanent exhibition called The Real Sherlock Holmes. The collection includes letters, artwork, objects and film which draw together the many connections between Edinburgh, medicine and the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The main focus of the exhibition is the focus on Conan Doyle’s relationship to Joseph Bell who later became President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. It was Bell’s analytical mind and keen observation that led Conan Doyle to write ‘It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes’.
This is not a museum for the faint-hearted or squeamish, but it’s crammed full of ghastly things which give clues behind some of Edinburgh’s darker literary creations. A fascinating, dreadful place.