A range of archaeological findings evidences that the Jílové region was inhabited as early as the prehistoric age. The oldest artefacts are 250 000 years old and they were found along the confluence of the Sázava and the Vltava (Moldau) rivers west of Petrov.
The town of Jílové was founded by joining mining communities whose origins are associated with gold mining. The evidence of the exact date of founding of Jílové has not survived until the present day but we know from indirect sources that the town had already existed in the 13th century. At that time the settlement concentrated in the southeast part of the town square and the slope beneath it. The name of the town is derived from the soil characteristics, i.e. from clay (jíl in Czech).
The deed of Oldřich Zajíc of Valdek is considered the first written record of the town. It dates back to September 13th 1331. However, an even older record has been found in the oldest book of the Prague Old Town dating back to 1310 which indirectly confirms the existence of Jílové. Around 1350, Karel IV (Charles IV) issued a prerogative confirming Jílové as a royal town and granted it a range of municipal rights and privileges.
Gold lured even the renowned alchemist Edward Kelly who insinuated himself into the favour of Emperor Rudolf II and gained several estates in the surroundings of Jílové in 1590 and bought many buildings in Jílové, including the Mince (Coin) house.
The fame of mining in Jílové came to an end during the Hussite wars. Some of the mines were flooded. A minor revival of mining occurred during the reign of Vladislav Jagiellon. He acknowledged the town’s privileges again and improved its coat of arms by adding the initial letter of his name “W“ adored by the royal crown. This act is commemorated on the silver municipal seal. The municipal coat of arms survived until the present day.
During the Thirty Years’ War half of the 120 town houses were ravaged or burned to the ground. That is why many buildings were founded as late as 18th and 19th century. The Pre-Hussite era buildings which have survived until the present include the Church of St Adalbert (Vojtěch) built in the early 13th century, the fourteenth-century town hall and the last structure dating back to the same era is the Mince (Coin) house, currently housing the Regional Museum.
Majority of the citizens of Jílové practiced non-Catholic religion until the Battle of White Mountain (Bílá Hora). After the battle, there was a sudden reverse of this trend which was strongly influenced by the founding of the Minorite monastery in Jílové in 1623. The monastery undoubtedly played a major role in the Recatholisation of the town which was completed in 18th century.
Many positive changes happened in the town in 19th century. This century was not very favourable as regards gold mining, but the position of the town was strengthened in 1849 with the forming of Jílové district comprising 48 cadastral municipalities. Jílové political district then lasted until June 1942.
In December 1891 Leopold Čihák offered his private collection of three-dimensional objects and ancient documents to the town on condition that the municipal council would give their consent to the establishment of the municipal museum. Čihák’s collection became the cornerstone of the museum. As early as 1895 the Museum of Jílové already actively participated in the Czechoslavic Ethnographic Exhibition in Prague.
The end of 19th century was spectacular for Jílové region. The construction of Čerčany – Modřany railway was commenced. As of January 18th 1897 a train service from Čerčany to Krhanice had already been established. Jílové station was opened in July. The railway to Prague was completed on May 1st 1900.