COVID-19 (coronavirus) update
Last updated: 12 April 2021
Burials are taking place, but there are restrictions on burial arrangements at our cemeteries. The number of people allowed to attend burial and cremation committal services has changed and will be based on risk assessment, which will be carried out by the funeral directors who organise and manage the arrangements. We have also refreshed our site risk assessments.
We deeply regret any distress caused to bereaved families during these difficult times.
Location and opening times
743 Upper Newtownards Road
|Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
||8am - 6pm
|Tuesday and Thursday
||8am - 8pm
||10am - 6pm
How to get to the cemetery
Take Glider route G1 in the direction of Dundonald Park and Ride from Belfast city centre. Metro routes 20 and 20A also pass the cemetery. Limited parking is available on the cemetery roads but there is a five miles per hour speed limit throughout the site.
Access to many of the graves is via narrow and uneven grass paths. The cemetery site office has a ramp but its layout is not suitable for wheelchairs. There are no disabled toilet facilities.
About the cemetery
Dundonald Cemetery opened as a municipal burial ground in 1905.
There are no new grave plots available in the cemetery, but burials still take place in existing graves. However, we only provide a grave burial service and do not offer natural burials in the cemetery.
The entrance to the cemetery is marked by an imposing set of black and gold double gates. At the highest point stands a grey limestone war memorial, around five metres high. It is embedded with large bronze Excalibur-type swords which form the shape of a cross at the top of the monument.
The engraving below them reads: "This cross of sacrifice is one in design and intention with those which have been set up in France and Belgium and other places throughout the world where our dead of the Great War are laid to rest. Their name liveth for evermore."
In 1895, Belfast Corporation (now the council) realised that more burial space was needed to cope with the city's growing population. Two years later, it bought 45 acres of land at Ballymiscaw, Dundonald, for £5,600. The site was known locally as Donall’s Fortress because of a nearby fort.
In 1904, plots were allocated out and a quarter of the cemetery was set aside for Roman Catholic burials, a decision which was later revised. The first burial in Dundonald Cemetery took place on 19 September 1905.
The County Down railway once ran along the rear boundary of the graveyard. Cemetery records show that, on one occasion, a horse pulling a coach containing relatives returning from a funeral was startled by a passing train. The horse bolted and damaged three tomb railings in the burial ground before being brought under control. The railway line is now the Comber Greenway, a seven-mile pedestrian and cycle route.
Amongst those buried in the cemetery are:
- John Carey (1861-1943) – landscape artist
- Sir Thomas Dixon (1868-1950) - High Sheriff for Co. Antrim in 1912 and Co. Down in 1913. Dixon also served as Lord-Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast between 1924 and 1950
- Lady Edith Stewart Dixon (1871-1964) - wife of Sir Thomas Dixon. Lady Dixon was made a Dame of the British Empire for her work with soldiers during World War I. She donated her family estate, now Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, to the people of Belfast. The Dixons are buried in section B3 of the cemetery and their grave is marked with a very large, imposing black granite memorial
- Dr Thomas Fleming Stevenson Fulton (1887-1974) - founder of Fleming Fulton School.
- Oscar Heron (died 1953) - famous gypsy horse dealer
- John McCandless (died 1913) - managing director of Belfast Ropeworks Ltd
- Sir Frederick Ernest Rebbeck (1877-1964) - chairman of Harland and Wolff from 1930 to 1962
- William John Stewart (1868-1946) - MP for south Belfast.