Built over the sixteenth red sandstone Edzell Castle was a seat of the Lindsay family who had acquired through marriage to the Stirling's of Glenesk. It occupied a strategic position in relation to the passes through the mountains from Angus to Mar. It was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James VI on two occasions. It was while he was staying at Edzell that he heard of the assassination of the French King, Henri III, the last surviving brother, of his mother's first husband. When these monarchs visited, Edzell was the residence of Sir David Lindsay, the creator of the garden.
Sir David Lindsay was a highly educated and cultured man. Educated abroad at the universities of Paris and Cambridge he was made a Lord of Session in 1593 and a member of the Privy Council in 1598. But it is his garden that we must thank him for most. One of the most romantic places in Scotland.
Sadly the cultured Lindsay's of Edzell seem to have been perpetually short of money. When it finally ran out in 1715, the castle and estate was sold to a cousin, the Earl of Panmure. And unfortunately for the earl, later the same year, he backed the loosing side in the Jacobite Rebellion, and lost everything he owned.
Edzell passed into the hands of the York Buildings Company and after the company went bust all the assets were stripped out to pay the creditors, roofs removed, floors taken out and even the magnificent avenue of beech trees were cut down and sold for their timber.
The estate was bought back by William Maule, Earl of Panmure and on his death passed to his nephew, 8th Earl of Dalhousie, ancestor of the present owner. Such was the importance of the garden that in the 1930's it was taken into the care of the state.