This 18th-century estate used to belong to the Stewart family. Its last owners, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon, gave it over to the council in the 1950s and it has meadows, a rose garden, Japanese garden and lots of space to walk and rest.
The park is part of the Wilmont Estate, which belonged to the Scottish Stewart family when they arrived in Ulster in the mid-18th century. Wilmont House was designed and completed in 1859 for the Bristow family, who then sold it to Sir Thomas Dixon in 1913, a well-off businessman who served as High Sheriff of Antrim. His wife looked out for American troops who were stationed in the house during World War Two and she was made Dame of the British Empire as a result. The Dixons lived there until Sir Thomas died in 1950, when Lady Dixon presented the house and the estate to Belfast Corporation so that it could be used by the citizens of Belfast. Wilmont House was used as a nursing home and Lady Dixon died in 1964.
Being over 128 acres in size, the park has a variety of spaces to walk. As well as large spaces of formal lawns and wild hills for walking, the park also has a Walled Garden, which used to provide fruit and vegetables for the house. The park also has the City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which annually holds Rose Week celebrations in July. The Japanese Garden, at the bottom of a small ravine, is quiet and has stepping stones to walk across the pond. There’s a picnic area and a large park for children, which is regularly visited by ice-cream vans.