Tonsillectomy is a frequently performed operation but there is little information about the histological features of a tonsillectomy specimen. In this study, we re-evaluated archival materials of 1220 cases who underwent tonsillectomy because of hyperplastic tonsils. Haematoxylin and eosin sections of the cases were re-examined and the presence and the proportion of mesenchymal tissues (skeletal muscle, cartilage, fat, bone) and seromucinous glands were noted as focal, multifocal or abundant. The incidence of skeletal muscle was 89 per cent (1085 cases; 206 focal, 465 multifocal, 414 abundant), seromucinous glands 35 per cent (429 cases; 236 focal, 134 multifocal, 59 abundant), fat 21 per cent (251 cases; 208 focal, 43 multifocal), cartilage three per cent (31 cases), and bone one per cent (seven cases). Also in 165 cases (14 per cent) skeletal muscle, in 12 cases (one per cent) was seromucinous glands, in eight cases (one per cent) was cartilage, in seven cases (one per cent) fat, and in four cases (less than one per cent) bone were found between hyperplastic lymphoid tissue. It can be concluded that mesenchymal tissues (skeletal muscle, cartilage, fat, bone) and seromucinous glands may be seen in different proportions in routine tonsillectomy specimens.