The parish includes the village of Vobster which had a coal mine of the same name on the Somerset coalfield and a quarry, both of which are now disused. During the 19th and early 20th centuries Mells and surrounding villages had several coal mines, much of which may have supplied the iron works of iron magnate James Fussell (1748–1832).
Mells and the adjacent parish of Leigh on Mendip made up the Mells and Leigh Hundred as well as both being part of Frome Hundred. Mells was also part of Frome Rural District until 1974 when the Mendip non-metrolpolitan district was established as the intermediate form of government between civil parish and county.
The stories behind the nursery rhymes "Little Jack Horner sat in a corner" and "The house that Jack built" are both purported to be about Jack Horner, a native of Mells. See the article, The Horner House at Mells.
1822 - Somersetshire delineated by Christopher & John Greenwood
A parish in the liberty of Mells and Leigh, 3½ miles W. from Frome, containing 231 inhabited houses, and 260 families, 50 of whom are employed in agriculture, 126 in trade, manufacture, or handicraft, and 84 not comprised in either class. A considerable proportion of the population is employed in the coal and iron works. Here are two fairs annually; one on the Monday after Trinity week, and the other on Michaelmas-day. Mells-Park, delightfully situated at a short distance W. S.W. of the village, is the seat of T. S. Horner, Esq. The church is a handsome structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and two side aisles, with a tower at the west end, containing a clock and six bells. The living is a rectory, in the deanery of Frome; Rev. John Bishop, D. D. incumbent; instituted 1783. Population, 1801, 1113 — 1811, 1061 — 1821, 1147.
1929 - Somerset by George Woosung Wade & Joseph Henry Wade
Mells, a large village 3 m. W.N.W. from Frome (nearest stat. Mells Road). Mells possesses a fine church, several old houses, and a well-merited reputation for picturesqueness. The church is a rich example of 15th-cent. Somerset Perp., with the usual low chancel and an elaborately panelled and pinnacled W. tower (cp. Leigh). Note (1) fine groined porch (cp. Doulting); (2) octagonal vestry on S. with chamber above; (3) mural tablet with emblem of peacock, on N. wall of tower, designed by Burne-Jones; (4) Norm. font. There are some modern brasses to former incumbents, and in N. chapel a tablet to Sir J. Homer (1659). Immediately adjoining the church on W. is a fine gabled Elizabethan manor house. Mells Park (J.F. Horner) is a plain freestone mansion, standing in some well-timbered grounds at the farther end of the village. The founder of the family is popularly reputed to be the "little Jack Horner" of nursery fame. In the neighbourhood of Mells are three camps, Newbury and Wadbury, on the road to Elm, and Tedbury, on the way to Frome. The last mentioned is triangular, occupying a point of land between two ravines (cp. Ruborough).