Our next Sole Mates outing is a visit to the Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in south Belfast.
We will meet in St Molua’s Church carpark at 10.00am on Saturday 15 July and travel in shared cars together.
All are welcome, you do not need to be member of St Molua’s to join us – check out stmoluasonline.com/walking-group/ for more information and updates.
History of the park
Originally formed in the mid-18th century, as part of the Wilmont estate, the park was first owned by the Stewarts; a farming family from Scotland. The estate was used for growing crops and bleaching linen and the main family house stood on the site of what is now the park’s lower car park.
In the mid-1800s, the Bristow family bought the estate. A family home, Wilmont House, was designed by Thomas Jackson for the Bristows and was completed in 1859. The estate, which also included a walled garden, informal planting areas and gate lodges, attracted a number of different owners before it was taken over by the Dixons in 1919.
During World War II, American troops were stationed in the grounds of the estate while their officers lived in Wilmont House. Lady Dixon was well-known for her work with the troops and was created Dame of the British Empire as a result. Before she died in 1959, she donated the estate to the city of Belfast in memory of her late husband, a former High Sheriff of Belfast.