The Pimple – Kingstanding Beacon

The entrance to Kingstanding Beacon today.

Kingstanding Beacon off Hever Avenue. Your memories of Kingstanding Beacon.

Memories of tristan murtagh

‘The pimple was named because of the size of the hill, at one point is used to be called Kingstanding beacon, I lived on the pimple for over 20 years. Supposedly it is the second highest point in Birmingham, next to the BarBeacon of course.’

Memories of Maurice Sellars

behind Danesbury cres/Hurlingham road corner was a hill called The Pimple it was also called The Ash Hill there were no ash trees on it, was it a dump at some time?



  1. I’d never heard the term ‘Kingstanding Beacon’ till I read it here – It was always known locally as ‘The Pimple’. I was born in Hurlingham Road in 1948 & regularly played there up until I left the area in 1963. There was a dirt cycle track on the flat area behind our house at No 11. Fond memories of messing about with motor cycles & a Vespa scooter there.

    • remember the kingstanding monarchs david ?

    • I well remember riding the motorcycles around the track on the pimple(and occasionally down Hurlingham Road much to the consternation of the police) with David and our friends Derek Green and Brian Ager.

  2. I know/knew many people who live/lived on “the pimple.” Nobody ever called it the “Kingstanding Beacon.” So many great characters have come and gone through that area. For all its faults, the community was once strong – with a shared sense of belonging and history. Those times are over.

  3. My Name is Valerie and i wonder if anyone knows the wareabouts of the
    family i lived next to in Cavershame Road long before they moved on to Landswood close. they were Kevin Paul and Julie Meakin. there Mom was Called Margaret and they moved from Caversham Road after a fire at their
    home at 45 Caversham Road. I have always known landswood close as the Pimple but never kingstanding beacon !! were did thar come from ?

    • Hi,
      The meakins are still around kingstanding. They actually live on landswood close. I’m not friends with them but know of them. Julie is pushed around in a wheelchair! Paul has 2 kids. The mum is still going strong and i’m sorry but I don’t know Kevin.
      Hope this helps.

    • Hello Valerie
      my nan and grandad lived in caversham rd -70 This was in 50-60s faceing the church . the name was GOODE . Also remember someone called Millington.

  4. i have always known it as the pimple, and i remember sliding down the hill when it was snowing, does anyone remember the nugents opposite the path to the pimple, many a courting couple would be up there never been seen due to the long grass!

    • i moved to kingstanding when i was 5 yrs old, back in 71, i can remember the pimple as a dirt hill before houses were build there
      ( i think.!) i lived and still my relative still lives on firbeck rd right in front you could say! opposite near sidcup rd leading up to the pimple.
      Dont remember it being called the kingstanding beacon though. think the girls i went round with who lived on edmonton ave didnt know it as that either.

    • I remember being with my young girlfriend from school, kissing in the long grass, very romantic it was too, I was probably only about 11 at the time, but it will always hold a special place in my heart as my girlfriends parents left kingstanding to live somewhere else so that was the end of a beautiful relationship. ,

  5. I was 7 years old when we moved from Sheldon to Kingstanding and lived directly opposite ‘the gulley’ in Sidcup Road which is what we called the pimple then. I remember there were trees planted at the top of the hill with iron railings around. It seemed a huge place to play at the time and you could get lost in the long grass. The only Beacon I recall was Barr Beacon.

  6. The Kingstanding Beacon was a fenced off area at the top of the hill which was called The Gulley by Sidcup residents. The Beacon was said to be where King Charles looked down to see if he was being chased from Cromwell’s men, hence the name Kingstanding. The Birmingham City Council did no more to commemorate this important event in history but being a former Sidcup Ian I like to think it was true as our garden looked out onto the allotment side with the Beacon in full view

    • Think You’re getting confused with the high grassy mound at George Fredrick playing fields. It is well known, King Charles viewed his troops from this point.

      • Graham. You are correct that King Charles looked down to watch for Cromwell’s men from that location which is actually a scheduled monument “Kingstanding Bowl Barrow” commonly known as “King’s Standing Mound”. The ‘pimple’ was a different location and was never known locally as “The Kingstanding Beacon”. The pimple was actually an open grassy hill as described by others above and was bounded by Hurlingham Road, Crayford Road and Sidcup road. There is information to be found here to show the location of The ‘King’s Standing Mound you mention.
        Moving further down that map on google will bring you the triangle of roads I refer to which has now been built over. Great fun looking back at comments…

      • Hi Anthony! You are correct, it wasn’t known locally as the Beacon, everyone knew it as the Pimple. But i do recall looking in the A-Z probably in the 70s & it was marked in there as the Kingstanding Beacon. Thanks for the info.

  7. I remember Doe Bank Lane which lead up to the Beacon.The shops opposite the Lane included the Sweet shop where I went with my coupons. I learned to ride bike on Doe Bank lane on the daughter of the owner of the sweet shop,who;s name escapes me at the moment. I lived on Queslett road and I remember the very wide grass verge on which my mom had a go at riding my dads moterbike with very nearly disasterous consequences !! The american army camp was right across the road from us as well.

  8. I live in kingstanding I was born on peckham road in 1970 and I still live there to this day never moved out of kinstanding had three house on sidcup caversham peckham I would never live any were else even if I won lottery

  9. We moved from Cranbourne Road to Landswood close in 1971, into the first phase of houses on “The pimple”. We moved there as an experiment (big brother). The swedish designed bungalow seemed massive and it had gas central heating which was blown air and pretty useless.

    As kids we played up in the long grass, back in the 1960’s skylarks could be seen high up and twittering. We never did find a nest.

    On the top was a fenced off area with locked gates. Only later in life did I learn that anti aircraft guns were positioned on concrete beds up there during WW2. There were always stories from different families, some said it was sacred ground, others said Martians had landed there and the ground behind the railings was radio active.

    Mmmm. I also remember the bike track, and competing lads from the black country coming over on Sunday afternoons. One day, a fight erupted between to competitors, it scared us cos the lads were much bigger and older.

  10. I’ve enjoyed reading these discussions. I’ve been searching for a good photo of the Pimple as it was in the 60s-70s. I have fond memories of traveling from my home in Norwich to stay with Nan Beattie Buffery on Cranbourne Road or My Aunty Eileen Turner on Hurlingham Road. My cousins and I use to walk the dogs and play for ages up there. It was a great shame when it got covered in houses. If anyone has a photo of the old Pimple I’d be grateful. I’m making an old Kingstanding and Birmingham montage for my mum.

  11. I used to play on the pimple unfortunately I had quite a bad accident some left a cut bottle in a hole I fell right on the glass i limped home my mom put a tea towel over the wound it was that deep it fell in my sister looked at my leg and nearly passed out , my dad carried my to the Dr’s he rang for an ambulance for the hospital in B’ham the Dr said another 1″ longer I would not be here today I still have the scar of course I tell people a shark bit me

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