Nursery Rymes & Children's TV
It's Child's Play
The magic and folklore of Somerset have been a source of wonder for children throughout the ages.
A number of nursery rhymes and children’s songs originate from real events and places in the county, and its dramatic landscape has proved the perfect backdrop to ensure children’s films and television programmes come alive!
Discover more about Nursery Rhymes & Children's TV...
Jack and Jill
The village of Kilmersdon has long been associated with the nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill. The hillside behind the old tollhouse is reputedly the hill referred to in the rhyme and is now marked by a footpath leading from Ames Lane up to Kilmersdon Primary School at the end of School Lane. There are stone markers on the way up, each one depicting a line from the nursery rhyme. The restored well-head is located in the school grounds.
"Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after"
Teddy Bear’s Picnic
The words for this popular children’s song were written by lyricist Jimmy Kennedy, who also wrote Red Sails in the Sunset and The Isle of Capri. Kennedy lived at Staplegrove Elm, in Staplegrove near Taunton, present home of the Somerset Nuffield hospital. He died in 1984 and is buried in Staplegrove churchyard, where to raise money the village has been known to organise a ‘zip wire’ for teddy bears from the church tower to the graveyard below!
Little Jack Horner
The Horner family in Mells are claimed by some to be the descendents of Jack in this popular nursery rhyme.
According to legend, Jack Horner was the steward of the last Abbot of Glastonbury who helped himself to the deeds of Mells Manor after the Abbot had hidden them in a pie intended for King Henry VIII. The Manor of Mells became the property of the Horner family who lived there until the 20th century.
"Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie,
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
…and said "What a good boy am I!"
The 1996 TV series of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five, was filmed at Dunster Castle, and the Cheddar Caves. It also featured the peaceful village of Bossington, well known for its charming cottages and picturesque walk to a pebbled beach. Three perfect locations for George, Julian, Dick, Anne and Timmy the dog to find excitement and adventure!
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The BBC’s 1988 mini-series of C.S Lewis’ classic children’s story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, was filmed on the West Somerset Railway. The railway appears in episode one as the children are evacuated from London (Minehead station) to the countryside (Crowcombe Heathfield station).
Roald Dahl, the author of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was born in Cardiff, but was sent to Saint Peter’s boarding school in Weston-super-Mare at the tender age of nine.
He was very homesick and wrote letters to his mother every day, detailing tales of the headmaster caning the children, and the school matron sprinkling soap into the mouths of boys who snored. It is probable that his time here gave him inspiration in later life for his stories, which often feature cruel and wicked characters.
He also wrote about his education in his book Boy:Tales of Childhood in which he details happier times being employed to deliver kerosene across Shepton Mallet, Midsomer Norton and Peasedown St John.