Mells is famous for its lovely architecture, ancient streets and dramatic location. There are many things to do in Mells; visit the ancient church and churchyard, enjoy the walled garden and country walks and, of course, relax in the village café or the newly refurbished Talbot Inn.
History is what underpins all of this and we are fortunate to have a fascinating history of the village and the Horner and Asquith family (who have lived in the Manor House in its various forms since the 16th century) written by the current Earl of Oxford and Asquith, Raymond Oxford.
Mells can trace its history from the Mesolithic flint workshops (ca. 6,000 BC) found on the down to the north of the village, and the Neolithic (ca. 2,000 BC) fortresses that are positioned in echelon, guarding the entrances of its valleys. Archaeology has shown that Tedbury Camp, to the east, was part of the same ‘kingdom’, or defensive system, that is dominated by Dolebury Camp above Burrington Combe and the Bristol Channel.
Several British villas (200 BC-400 AD) are located on the south slopes of the down and there are Roman camps on Newbury Hill and in Hobblyground field to the north of the Manor House. The remains of a Roman village has been found along the stream from Branch Farm to the ruined cottage at Quarry Close.
A Saxon village existed around the upper pond at Branch, Saxon jewellery has been found in the Iron Valley and even a ceremonial Danish axehead. In 942 AD the Saxon King Edmund granted land at Mells to Count Athelstan who in turn gave it to Glastonbury Abbey. It was Glastonbury that built most of the medieval part of the village, including the Tithe Barn, Bilboa House, New Street, Selwood House and part of The Talbot inn.