Kings Heath (historically, and still occasionally King's Heath) is a suburb of south Birmingham, England, four miles south of the city centre. Historically in Worcestershire, it is the next suburb south from Moseley on the A435 Alcester Road. Since 2018 it has been part of the Brandwood and Kings Heath Ward.

Kings Heath
Kings Heath is located in West Midlands county
Kings Heath
Kings Heath
Location within the West Midlands
Population18,800 (Census 2021)
OS grid referenceSP073816
Metropolitan borough
Shire county
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtB14
Dialling code0121
PoliceWest Midlands
FireWest Midlands
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
West Midlands
52°25′57″N 1°53′36″W / 52.43257°N 1.89327°W / 52.43257; -1.89327
All Saints' Church



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]

On 28 July 2005, Kings Heath was hit by a major tornado (by European standards) 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.

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] 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.

Despite being part of Birmingham for over a century – and being closer in size to a town than a suburb – Kings Heath is referred to as a 'village' by some members of the community. A focal point of the suburb is All Saints Square, located at one end of the High Street at the junction of Alcester Road South and Vicarage Road. This was created in the mid-2010s when the churchyard of All Saints' Church was redeveloped into a public square. It is used as the venue for the suburb's monthly farmers' market and other seasonal events.[2] Located at the other end of the High Street will be the reopened Kings Heath railway station, having initially closed to passengers in 1941. The station is set to reopen in December 2023.

In 2021 the area was named a 'gayborhood' alongside the likes of The Castro, San Francisco and The Marais in Paris. Residents and businesses hosted the first annual "Queens Heath Pride" parade in September 2021.[3][4] This was later revealed to be the brainchild of local resident, comedian Joe Lycett in response to an increase in anti-LGBTQ violence in the city.[5]


Kings Heath Police Station

Kings Heath has several notable schools including 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


Kings Heath is serviced by National Express West Midlands' bus routes 11 (A/C), 27, 35, 50, 76, Diamond Bus routes 50 (only Maypole to Birmingham rather than from Druids Heath, part run with National Express), and 150,and Stagecoach Midlands routes 46 and 169 .

Set to open by the end of 2023,[6] the Camp Hill line will bring three new stations to the area, Pineapple Road, Kings Heath, and Moseley Village, linking directly from Kings Norton to Birmingham New Street.



The central shopping area runs along High Street and Alcester Road, and the shops include branches of national chain stores, independent bakeries, butchers and greengrocers, 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 one park, Kings Heath Park, which is famous as the setting for the popular ATV series Gardening Today.[7] 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.

Though technically in neighbouring Moseley, Highbury Park is often considered to be Kings Heath's second park. Since the reconfiguring of ward boundaries in 2018 (and the merging of Kings Heath and Brandwood into a single ward) it could be argued that Dawberry Fields Park is also a part of Kings Heath.

The Hare & 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.[8]

Sport and leisure


Kings Heath Stadium was a greyhound track that existed from 1927 until its closure in 1971.[9] The site was first developed in 1923 at Alcester Lane's End on the southern outskirts of Kings Heath as the venue for the annual Kings Heath Horse Show.[10] The ground was converted to include a greyhound track and the first race took place on 21 May 1927.[11] After the Horse Show moved elsewhere in the 1960s, the ground was exclusively used for greyhound racing until being permanently closed in 1971. The land was eventually sold for housing development.[12]

An 18-hole golf course opened in 1926 just to the south of the race track along the Alcester Road.[13] This is also the site of the modern Cocks Moors Woods sports and leisure centre, the largest of its kind in south Birmingham.[14]

Kings Heath Baths was an indoor facility on Institute Road that first opened on 15 August 1923. For many years, the swimming pool was drained and floored over during the winter so it could be used as a dance hall, with additional badminton courts also provided.[15] The baths closed in 1987 and the building was subsequently demolished.[16]

The Kingsway Cinema opened on High Street in March 1925 and remained open for more than fifty years until its closure in May 1980. The cinema was later converted into a bingo hall, first run by Essoldo Bingo, then Gala Bingo, but eventually closed in 2007. The building was largely destroyed by a fire on 17 September 2011.[17] It was auctioned off in 2016 to a local building development company[18] and demolition work was carried out at the rear of the building in early 2018.[17] The Grade A locally listed facade at the front was largely unaffected by the 2011 fire and the redevelopment plans include restoring this to its former glory.[18]

Notable residents

People born in Kings Heath
Notable residents
The church musicians window; Kings Heath Methodist Church; featuring Bach, Charles Wesley, Handel and the local organist Leslie Wright

The 2011 musical film Turbulence was shot in the area, with much of the film's action taking place in the Hare & Hounds pub.[29]

The 2013 song "Green Garden" by Birmingham born Laura Mvula is an elegy to her home in Kings Heath.[30]

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.[31]

In 2021, Joe Lycett promoted Kings Heath as a 'gay village'. This became a Pride event, and also a theme in his standup show. After three years of Pride promotions, this now appears to have stuck.

See also



  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. ^ Bentley, David (23 September 2021). "Kings Heath to hold first ever Queens Heath Pride LGBT festival this weekend". BirminghamLive. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  4. ^ Bains, Sanjeeta (26 April 2021). "Kings Heath named alongside San Francisco and Ibiza as LGBTQ-friendly 'Gayborhood'". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 2 May 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  5. ^ Bashforth, Emily (1 September 2023). "Joe Lycett has fans in tears with new stand-up show – but perhaps not for the reason you'd think". Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  6. ^ "Camp Hill line stations". West Midlands Rail Executive. Archived from the original on 20 June 2023. We have appointed VolkerFitzpatrick as our principal contractor to design and build the 3 new stations. Work has begun on the station and we are targeting the opening date of the end of 2023.
  7. ^ Buxton, Roddy. "Studio One". Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2002.
  8. ^ "Hare and Hounds, The Venue". Hare and Hounds. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  9. ^ Tarter, P Howard (1949). Greyhound Racing Encyclopedia. Fleet Publishing Company Ltd. p. 62.
  10. ^ "New Electric Hare Tracks". Westminster Gazette. 19 April 1927. Retrieved 3 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "White City Next". Daily Herald. 23 May 1927. Retrieved 3 December 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ Pittaway, Gail. "King's Heath Horse Show & Kings Heath Greyhound Stadium" (PDF). King's Heath Local History Society. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Cocks Moors Woods Golf Course". Mytime Active. Archived from the original on 12 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Welcome to Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre". Birmingham Community Leisure Trust. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  15. ^ J. Moth (1951). The City of Birmingham Baths Department 1851–1951 (PDF). James Upton. p. 32.
  16. ^ Baxter, Mark (4 August 2016). "Lost Moseley: 'Last Splash?' Part One – Lidos & Baths". Moseley B13 magazine. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b Blackham, Bob (July 2019). "Kingsway Cinema Story" (PDF). King's Heath Local History Society. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b Jones, Tamlyn (18 January 2018). "New plans to restore historic former Kings Heath cinema". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  19. ^ "The Guy Car". Wolverhampton History & Heritage Website. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  20. ^ Anderson, Martin (24 March 2003). "Edna Iles, Pianist and champion of Medtner". The Independent. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  21. ^ Howells, Glenn (12 July 2019). "Obituary: Birmingham Rotunda architect Jim Roberts dies aged 97". Architects' Journal. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021.
  22. ^ a b c "Famous former residents of King's Heath". King's Heath Local History Society. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  23. ^ Anderson, Ian (8 September 2017). "All about Martin Barre". Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Toyah on Kings Heath Walk of Fame". BBC News. 17 June 2012. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  25. ^ Lockley, Mike (17 February 2013). "Plaque to be erected for Kings Heath Cluedo inventor Anthony Pratt". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015.
  26. ^ Cutler, Judith (2015). "About the author". Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  27. ^ "Rock legend Trevor Burton honoured on Kings Heath Walk of Fame". Birmingham Mail. 5 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  28. ^ "Joe Lycett". Birmingham Living magazine. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  29. ^ Suart, Paul (15 July 2011). "Kings Heath film maker turns to bike power for new movie". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  30. ^ Jones, Alison (26 April 2013). "Laura Mvula is one of the UK's hottest prospects in 2013". Birmingham Mail. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  31. ^ "'Fighting For Air' BBC2 documentary broadcast 10 January 2018". Kings Heath Residents' Forum. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.