In 1894 the civil parish was abolished and incorporated into the civil parish of Hoylake-cum-West Kirby. For the period after 1894, see Hoylake-cum-West Kirby.
Impressive archaeological finds dating back to the Neolithic period suggest that the site was an important centre in antiquity. Since about 1810, a large number of artefacts have been found relating to pre-Roman Carthage, the Iron Age, the Roman Empire, the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. These include items as varied as coins, tokens, brooches, pins, knives, glass beads, keys, pottery, flint tools, mounts, pilgrim badges, pieces of leather, worked wood and iron tools. They came to be discovered after the beginning of large-scale dredging (to accommodate the needs of the nearby growing seaport of Liverpool) started to cause notable sand erosion along the coastline near Meols. These finds suggest that the site was used as a port as far back as the Iron Age some 2,400 years ago, and was once the most important seaport in the present-day North West England. Thus trading connections are believed to have reached far across Europe. Some of these artefacts are on display locally, at the Museum of Liverpool. In the 1890s the local authorities built the first sea wall. The rapidly eroding coastline was saved, but the sea wall changed the currents and archaeological sites at Meols were buried in the sand. The remains of a submerged forest off Dove Point have now also disappeared but they were visible until the spring of 1982.
Meols was formerly called Great Meols. It was a township in West Kirby Parish of the Wirral Hundred, becoming part of Hoylake cum West Kirby civil parish in 1894. Great Meols had a population of 140 in 1801, 170 in 1851 and 821 in 1901. The name Great Meols survives in the name of the primary school and the Anglican church. It was still in more general use up to the 1960s, for instance in postal addresses and on the destination indicators of buses from Chester, but not as the name of the railway station.
There also used to be a village called Little Meols, on Meols Drive between Hoylake and West Kirby The name Little Meols fell out of use in Victorian times, having been absorbed by Hoylake. From 123 inhabitants in 1801 and 170 in 1851, by 1901 at 2,850, its population had outstripped Great Meols.
Meols was known to be spelt as Meolse up until when the railway station was placed. The error came about at the time of the station's construction, when rail managers took the spelling of Meols from the Southport suburb of Meols Cop and used it for new signage.