It looks like an old rotten spot that is slowly healing over. I think I see the rounded edges of new bark growth around the bad spot. If that is not your 4-year old's wheelbarrow, that is a big tree. The other spots look like regular bark to me.
The tree is probably healthy or it wouldn't be healing itself. The outside of a tree is the 'alive' part that transfers nutrients and moisture between the roots and the canopy. If the tree was not doing this efficiently, there would be a dead stripe up that side of the tree - all the branches and leaves directly above the rot would be dead. As you didn't mention that, I suspect the entire canopy looks healthy.
The hardwood center of the tree is what holds it up and the center of your tree is rotten. Some species of trees (Oaks for one) are good at containing the rot and it never affects the health of the tree - eventually, there is a hollow cavity. I don't know if Beech trees do that. Also, trees grow thicker bark on either side of a wound that act like posts to help support the tree.
Personally, if its in an area where you will be quite a bit of the time or near your house, I would ask a certified arborist to take a look at it. It may be perfectly healthy and destined to grace your entrance for years to come. Or it may be an accident waiting to happen. If you do decide to remove the tree, get a professional. Hollow trees don't behave properly when they fall - they collapse in the wrong direction and sometimes simply explode when the chainsaw hits hollow cavities.