Kings Heath

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Kings Heath
High Street Kings Heath, The Station Pub on the Left - geograph.org.uk - 1283548.jpg
Kings Heath High Street
Kings Heath is located in West Midlands county
Kings Heath
Kings Heath
Location within the West Midlands
OS grid referenceSP073815
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBIRMINGHAM
Postcode districtB14
Dialling code0121
PoliceWest Midlands
FireWest Midlands
AmbulanceWest Midlands
EU ParliamentWest Midlands
List of places
UK
England
West Midlands
52°25′53″N 1°53′39″W / 52.43143°N 1.89406°W / 52.43143; -1.89406Coordinates: 52°25′53″N 1°53′39″W / 52.43143°N 1.89406°W / 52.43143; -1.89406

Kings Heath (historically, and still occasionally King's Heath) is a suburb of south Birmingham, England, five miles south of the city centre. It is the next suburb south from Moseley on the A435, Alcester road.

History[edit]

Kings Heath came into being as a village in the 18th century when improvements to the Alcester to Birmingham road acted as a catalyst for the development of new houses and farms. Prior to this, the area was largely uninhabited wasteland run by the Royal Borough of Kings Norton.

The streets running off High Street are dominated by pre-1919 terraced, owner-occupied housing.[citation needed]

A number of independent shops have taken advantage of comparatively cheap rents in the side roads off High Street, leading to an influx of boutiques and the start of an (organic) café culture. In 2008, the businesses agreed to establish a Business Improvement District, which top-slices a proportion of their local business taxes to go directly into improvements and promotion of the area.[1]

The local community still refers to Kings Heath as a "village" even though it has been part of Birmingham for over a century, its centre at the High Street / Vicarage Road junction has been developed to form an attractive public square which is used as a venue for a monthly farmers' market and other events.[2]

On 28 July 2005, Kings Heath was hit by a major (by European standards) tornado which damaged several shops on High Street and All Saints' Church; the tornado then moved on to damage many houses in Balsall Heath. There were no fatalities.

Education[edit]

Kings Heath has several schools including Colmore Infant, Nursery and Primary School, St. Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, Kings Heath Primary School, Kings Heath Boys, Wheelers Lane Technology College, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls and Bishop Challoner Catholic College.

Public transport[edit]

Kings Heath is serviced by National Express West Midlands' bus routes 11 (Birmingham Outer Circle), 35 (central Birmingham – Hawkesley) and 50 (central Birmingham – Druids Heath).

Features[edit]

The central shopping area runs along High Street and Alcester Road, and the shops include branches of national chain stores, charity shops, supermarkets, electrical retailers and opticians. There are also a number of pubs, churches and schools on and around High Street.

Plaque marking UB40's first gig.

Kings Heath has two parks: Kings Heath Park, which is famous as the setting for the popular ATV series Gardening Today,[3] and Highbury Park, which is adjacent to Highbury Hall, a former residence of Joseph Chamberlain. Kings Heath Park has "Green Flag" status, it features a Victorian-styled tea room and is the venue for the annual Gardener's Weekend Show, which comes under the Royal Horticultural Society and is one of the top regional events for gardening enthusiasts to show off their vegetables, floral displays, etc.

The Hare and Hounds public house, in Kings Heath High Street, was the location of the first concert by UB40 on 9 February 1979, which is commemorated by a PRS for Music plaque; the pub was rebuilt in 1907, but is Grade II listed, as it has retained many original Art Nouveau internal fixtures. The pub is still an important local music venue.[4]

Popular culture[edit]

The 2011 musical film Turbulence was shot in the area, with much of the film's action taking place in the Hare & Hounds pub.[5]

The 2013 song "Green Garden" by Birmingham born Laura Mvula is an elegy to her home in Kings Heath.[6]

The BBC documentary Fighting For Air, about suburban air pollution, was filmed in Kings Heath in 2017 and broadcast on BBC2 on 10 January 2018.[7]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Kings Heath Stadium existed from 1927 to 1971; it hosted greyhound racing.[8]

Notable residents[edit]

People born in Kings Heath
Notable residents

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Business Plan for 2018–2023 Kings Heath BID". Enjoy Kings Heath. June 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Village Square". All Saints Centre Kings Heath. All Saints Community Development Company. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  3. ^ Buxton, Roddy. "Studio One". Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2002.
  4. ^ "Hare and Hounds, The Venue". Hare and Hounds. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  5. ^ Suart, Paul (15 July 2011). "Kings Heath film maker turns to bike power for new movie". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror Midlands. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Latest Birmingham and West Midlands news on Food & Drink, Nostalgia, Fashion,". www.birminghampost.co.uk.
  7. ^ "'Fighting For Air' BBC2 documentary broadcast 10 January 2018". Kings Heath Residents' Forum. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  8. ^ Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd. p. 62.
  9. ^ Mike Lockley (17 February 2013). "Plaque to be erected for Kings Heath Cluedo inventor Anthony Pratt". Birmingham Mail.

External links[edit]