Originally a drovers inn, for centuries there has been an alehouse in Anick, but just how the Rat Inn came by what must surely be one of the oddest names for an Inn in Britain remains shrouded in mystery.
Ask the locals and several interesting theories are offered: Some say that it was a regular meeting place for all the local rat catchers; others say that the largest rat ever seen was caught here.
Perhaps the most intriguing tale tells of the then ale keeper who gave information to the crown during the Jacobite risings of 1715 and 45 and thus became known as “the Rat”. Historically, Northumberland had a strong network of Jacobite sympathisers who met under cover of games of bowls and horse races at local pubs and alehouses. Government spies were posted across the county to gather information.
Who knows, perhaps the Rat Inn was host to some of these meetings!