Early Days

Although called Melas in the Domesday Book, the name Meols is from the old Norse word for sand-dunes. Up until a century ago it was called Meolse but the name was changed when the railway station was built -- the story has it that the railway managers were unsure of the spelling and had assumed it to be the same as Meols, near Southport.

In Victorian times, Meols was still a farming community although a few houses built by the gentry had started to appear. As a small village, it was without a church or a school and the villagers had to walk to the parish church at Hoylake where the childern attended the Hoylake National School.

The population of Meols was 140 in 1801 but, with the arrival of the Birkenhead Road in about 1850, it had increased to 821 in 1901.

The first inn in Meols was the Sloop Inn. It dates back to at least 1840. It later became a shop and was demolished in 1938. The original Railway Inn was pulled down in the 1930's when it became fashionable to build larger inns to attract the motorist. The new inn was opened on 1st December 1938 and then the old one was knocked down to become the car park.[Photograph]

St. John the Baptist Church was consecrated on 12th April 1913, the foundation stone having been laid on 21st October 1911.

The first Anglican services in the 1880's were held in the schoolroom. In June 1901 a temporary church was opened at a cost of 500 UK Pounds - this was later to become the church hall.

Between Meols and Leasowe is a submerged forest. Roots and stumps of large trees are partially buried in peaty soil, which is the result of a pre-historic forest becoming submerged by the sea encroaching on the land. Although the remains of this forest had not been seen for several decades, they were visible in the spring of 1982.
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