One of the Teifi Valley’s most historic and legendary pubs, the Nags Head in Abercych, has this week been named as the worthy winner of the Tivyside Best Pub Award for 2022.

The establishment has gained an excellent reputation for its superb food and beverages, and is also well-known for one particular feature.

In 2019 a 67-year-old regular returned to the bar – but has not been chatting much with the local drinkers.

While most landlords would dread finding a three-foot rodent on their premises, owners Dewi and Jacqui Davies could not be happier with the return of the ‘famous’ rat of Abercych.

It had been missing for several years, but Dewi, who took over the pub at the end of 2018, tracked it down and once again the rat takes pride of place at the north Pembrokeshire watering hole.

The 'rat of Abercych' became famous in the 1950s with numerous reports of a three-foot long rodent, which had been spotted around the village.

Descriptions of the beast beggared belief, and it became known as the first ‘super-rat’ – a fearsome beast which 'could cut through a branch with a single bite'.

Sightings of the creature caused increasing alarm and soon the hunt was on to track down the beast. Some, as legend has it, feared the entire village could become overrun with giant rats.

But it finally met its match on the riverbank outside the Nag’s head Inn where it is said it was hunted down by the 88-year-old landlord David Morris, who had been out digging potatoes, and managed to spear the creature with a garden fork.

Tivyside Advertiser: The famous rat of AbercychThe famous rat of Abercych (Image: Newsquest)

The rodent weighed in at a whopping 10½lbs and was stuffed and mounted on display in the pub, where it has remained, except for a short break, ever since. The inn became famous as ‘the pub with the rat’.

After its capture the ‘rat’ was identified as myocastor coypus, a giant aquatic rodent from South American, so how it ended up in Abercych, nobody knows.

“He’s a bit of a monster and is certainly a talking point for visitors when they come in,” said Dewi on making it pride of place in the pub once more.

“He has been for a walk for the last couple of years but has now reappeared and he’s part and parcel of the history of the place. It’s great to have him back.”

Tivyside Advertiser: Owner Dewi Davies is pictured with the staff at the Nags Head in Abercych, with the award. Owner Dewi Davies is pictured with the staff at the Nags Head in Abercych, with the award. (Image: Newsquest)


The Nag's Head this week picked up the award for the best pub in the whole of the Tivyside’s geographic area.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have won the Best Pub Award for 2022, as this comes on top of recently being named in the top three Taste Of Pembrokeshire category in the recent Visit Pembrokeshire Awards," said Nag’s Head owner, Dewi Davies.

“The entire front of house team are doing an amazing job here, as of course as our fantastic kitchen staff.”

Heading the front of house team is Zoe Noble, ably supported by her supervisory team of Danielle Leonard and Hannah McHugh, while the kitchen team is led by head chef Andy Millard alongside Dan Curtis, Ace Harlow and Hanna Stedman.

“Finally, we want to say a huge thank you to our loyal local customer base," added Mr Davis.

"Without their support during these challenging times for the hospitality sector, we wouldn’t have such a successful business and neither would we have won this prestigious award.”