Tuesday 17 March 2015

Jack and Jill Hill, Kilmersdon

Jack and Jill Hill in Kilmersdon is supposed to have been the inspiration for the nursery rhyme of the same name.  It links Ames Lane to School Lane.  

There are several theories about the origin of the rhyme. One story is that Jack and Jill were a married couple, who lived in Kilmersdon. One day Jack went up the hill to collect some water when he was killed by a boulder dislodged from a nearby quarry, which hit him on the head.  Jill died of a broken heart shortly after giving birth to their son, who was then raised by the villagers of Kilmersdon and known as Jill's son.  The surname Gilson is apparently still common in the Kilmersdon area

Other theories, which are not linked to Kilmersdon, are a Scandinavian story about 2 children called Hjuki and Bil, who were stolen by the moon while collecting water or Henry VII's ministers Empson and Dudley, who were executed soon after he came to the throne.

There are six stone markers up the hill, which have individual lines from the rhyme carved on them.

Ames Lane leads to Jack and Jill Hill

Looking up Jack and Jill Hill, Kilmersdon from the bottom

 Jack and Jill well and plaque on the side of Kilmersdon School at the top of the hill

 There are 6 of these marker stones placed at intervals up the hill.  This is the one nearest to the top - it says "Jill came tumbling after."

Plaque mounted on the side of Kilmersdon School at the top of the hill

Jack and Jill Gates at Kilmersdon School


  1. Very interesting, thank you. I comment here because Jack and Jill HIll is featured - even as I write - on the BBC "Escape to the Country" program, today 3rd. January 2019.

  2. Is there any information on where either Jack or Jill were supposed to have lived in the village? What were their surnames? Where were they buried?

  3. What happened to their son ???

  4. My mother went to the chol from 1905 She lived at Charlton which was along the road from the gates of Lord Hylton'ss estate. I can remember her taken me to visit my aunt's and uncle at the house where she was born in 1901. She also took me to see the school and at the bottom to Kilmerston church yard where several member of her family are buried next to the church yard was a public house and across the road was the village shop which was in the front room of a house. The family name was DOREY does anyone remember them or are their any relatives . Please let me know