The park we see today was once part of a much greater estate which occupied a considerable area of the north Dublin coast land. The lands were bought incrementally by the Guinness family famous for brewing black stout beer. Benjamin Lee Guinness and Arthur Lee Guinness bought the original lands in 1817. Benjamin Lee bought out his brother’s share of the properties and land. He built many follies, an artificial boating lake, a formal walled garden, a yew walk behind the house and a yew circle. The remnants are still there today. The estate woodland is built on a series of hills and hollows, which include grottoes, bridges and a shell house. Benjamin Lee dies in 1868 and Sir Arthur Edward Guinness inherited the estate. The layout and design we see today owe its origin mainly to Sir Arthur Edward Guinness and his wife Olivia who later became Lord and Lady Ardilaun. By 1907 the estate reached it maximum size. Lord and Lady Ardilaun died between 1915-1925 and the estate was inherited by Bishop Benjamin J. Plunket, the nephew of Arthur Edward, who added a walled fruit garden.

In 1932 the estate was put up for sale by Bishop Benjamin J. Plunket. In 1936 Dublin City purchased the land