This refers to the hillock at the foot of the High Street. There was originally quite a steep and narrow slope until the Swan Hotel premises were re-developed, two adjacent properties demolished, and the road re-graded. As part of the work, the slope that originally led up to the Dispensary was replaced with a flight of steps. This also entailed some loss of storage in the cellar beneath the Dispensary, then occupied by Messrs. Moulton.
The name, taken from the Royal Oak Inn which stood adjacent also gave rise to Oak Passage which runs from the High Street along the back of George Street to the steps adjacent to the Ye Olde Pump House.
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 28 September 1889 Pg. 0007