A formal designed landscape was laid out by Alexander Edward for the 4th Earl of Panmure between 1701-1708. The estates were confiscated after the 1715 Uprising and were not regained until 1764. Between then and the survey of the 1st edition OS map of 1868, the policies were extended and extensively informalised. Improvements were continued by the 11th Earl until his death in 1874. The 14th Earl and Countess made further improvements to the house and walled garden and created the woodland garden between 1902-28. Further developments have been made in the garden since 1950 by the present, 16th, Earl & Countess of Dalhousie.
The name of Maule appears in the early history of Brechin Castle when, in 1303, Sir Thomas Maule defended it from a siege by Edward I. In 1634, Patrick Maule purchased the estate from the 1st Earl of Mar and, in 1646, he was created 1st Earl of Panmure. The unsettled political climate of that period prevented him from building a house of any great note, thus, on his death in 1661, George, the 2nd Earl was instructed to carry out his father's ambition and thus the house at Panmure, Carnoustie, was begun. He died in 1671 and the 3rd Earl completed the work at Panmure. His brother succeeded as 4th Earl in 1686. He married Margaret, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Hamilton, and began to restore Brechin Castle as their home.
James Baine, the King's Master Plasterer, was commissioned for the restoration but, due to a series of misunderstandings and disputes with the 4th Earl, he was dismissed and Alexander Edward was brought in to complete the work. He prepared a formal layout for the grounds which is indicated on General Roy's plan of c.1750. Only the great west avenue shown on the plan remains today. In the early years of the 18th century, the 4th Earl sponsored Alexander Edward to travel in Britain and abroad in search of inspiration for the architectural and garden designs which he subsequently prepared for this, and other, estates. References in Edward's notebooks indicate that he brought back seeds and plant material from his visits, some of which were probably used in the gardens at Brechin. He died in 1708, three years before the completion of the Castle. It is the only large building by him remaining today. His patron remained loyal to the Stuarts in the 1715 rebellion and, as a result, fled to France. The 4th Countess leased the Castle and sold the contents to Lady Orbiston to prevent their confiscation along with the estates by the Crown. By 1717, when the family had raised enough capital to repurchase the Estates (the most valuable of those confiscated), they were outbid by the York Building Company by #100. The Countess obtained a 99 year lease on the houses and parks before rejoining her husband in France. He died there in 1723 and was succeeded by his brother, the titular 5th Earl, and through him the estates passed to his son, General William Maule in 1734.
The Irish Peerages of Earl of Panmure and Forth, and Viscount Maule of Whitechurch were conferred on General Maule following the Battle of Dettingen in 1743. He commissioned 'Mr. Adam', to prepare sketch plans for the west front of the Castle and for new stables which were not carried out. Some building work was carried out c.1759 but the estates were still under lease and it was not until 1764, after the collapse of the York Building Company, that they were reacquired by the family. In 1777, John Gourlay was commissioned for minor work to the Castle, repair of the stables and construction of walls to the kitchen garden. General William Maule died unmarried in 1782 and his Earldom became extinct.
The estates passed to his nephew, the 8th Earl of Dalhousie, who died only five years later, in 1787. His 2nd son, William Ramsay, adopted the name of Maule and lived at Brechin, preferring it to Panmure. In 1794, he married Patricia Heron Gordon and was responsible for the Georgian north range of the courtyard and the Image Bridge across the River South Esk and, later, the Stannochy Bridge. He was created Baron Panmure of Brechin and Navar in 1831. His son, Fox, inherited the title of 2nd Baron in 1852 although the 2nd son, Lauderdale, acquired Brechin Castle, by which time it had been neglected due to the break- up of his parents' marriage in 1817 and his father's subsequent lifestyle. Soon after 1852 however, Brechin reverted to Fox on the death of his brother and he completed the work on the Castle. In 1860, he succeeded as Earl of Dalhousie and continued to develop the policies up until his death in 1874 when the Barony of Panmure became extinct.
The 12th & 13th Earls of Dalhousie made few changes to the policies. The 14th Earl succeeded in 1897. He married Lady Mary Adelaide Heathcote Drummond Willoughby in 1902 and a year later began the most recent phase of improvements to the house. The Countess, a keen gardener, established the woodland garden which has been continued by her son, the present 16th Earl of Dalhousie, who inherited from his brother in 1950. The 16th Earl and Countess have also remodelled the walled kitchen garden.