This location - the junction of Priory Road, Frederick Road and Old London Road served initially as the location of a toll gate on the Hastings to Flimwell turnpike, a presence dating back to 1753. Notably, this toll gate was the first of its kind and persisted, likely undergoing reconstruction at some point, until the turnpike system's abolition in the early 1860s.
Following the removal of the turnpike, a new structure was erected on what could be described as an 'island' plot - "Dawes Drug Stores" - completely encircled by roads. This unique and somewhat perilous configuration, however, was short-lived, lasting only until 1904. At that time, the Hastings Tramway Company acquired the site, leading to the demolition of the structure to accommodate the widening of the junction and the installation of tram tracks.
Adjacent to Dawes Corner, the Royal Sussex Arms, was initially established as a beer house and subsequently upgraded to a fully licensed establishment, had already opened its doors to patrons around 1860.