His father Sir John Myres had been Wykeham Professor of Ancient History at Oxford. Nowell Myres was educated at Winchester College and then New College, Oxford and was president of the Oxford University Archaeological Society in 1923. He became a tutor at Christ Church from 1928. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1966. He gave the 1970 Raleigh Lecture on History.
He was recognised as a leading authority on British history in the time of the Anglo Saxons and earlier. He and R. G. Collingwood wrote the first volume of the Oxford History of England which was widely recognised as a classic. When the series was re-released in the 1980s this volume was split in two, Peter Salway writing what had been Collingwood's part and Myres rewriting his own part.
- 1936: "The English Settlements", in: Collingwood, R. G. & Myres, J. N. L. (1936) Roman Britain and the English Settlements. (The Oxford History of England. .) Oxford: Clarendon Press; pp. 325–461 & bibliography
- Myres, J. N. L.; Hawkes, C. F. C.; Bruce-Mitford, Rupert; Hill, J. W. F. & Radford, C. A. Ralegh (1946). "The Archaeology of Lincolnshire and Lincoln: Anglian and Anglo-Danish Lincolnshire" (PDF). The Archaeological Journal. Royal Archaeological Institute. CIII: 85–101. doi:10.1080/00665983.1946.10853806.
- 1986: The English Settlements. (The Oxford History of England. 1B.) Oxford: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-282235-7; 1989 pbk edition
- Arnold Taylor (1991). "John Nowell Linton Myres 1902–1989" (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. 76: 513–527. ISSN 0068-1202. Wikidata Q90812400.
- "Raleigh Lectures on History". The British Academy.
- Myres, J. N. L. (1972). "The Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes" (PDF). Proceedings of the British Academy. 56: 145–174.