There are two families connected with the history of the Fasque estate, the Ramsay's of Balmain and the Gladstones of Fasque and Balfour. The Ramsays now live in New South Wales, Australia.
Sir John Ramsay, Knight of Balmain and Fasque was created a Lord of Parliament in 1433 by James III. After the rebellion of the nobles against the Kings, Sir John was outlawed and his estates confiscated. He was given a pardon in 1498 having lost his title. The 4th baronet who suceeded in 1695, was an MP for the county, and protested against the Act of Union. He was suceeded by his brother Alexander who after three years in Parliament retired 'to improve his estates by better methods of agriculture.' Vitruvius Scoticus shows William Adams plans for improvement to an earlier house which lay to the west of the present house on the site of the later garden and bowling green.
In a history of Fettercairn by the local schoolmaster, A C Cameron, 1899 the author records that Sir Alexander Ramsay 'introduced land drainage, the application of lime carried in creels on horseback over Garvock Hill, the sowing of grass seeds, the building of stone dykes to enclose his fields - and about the year 1730 planted the double rows of stately beeches alongside the avenue leading to Fasque.'
The enclosed parks to the north of the present house are the remains of his work, and remains of his plantings can be seen in the park to the south of the house. These trees are out of line with the present house because they were aligned on the earlier house to the west which sat on the site of the present garden. He was succeeded by his nephew, Sir Alexander Ramsay Irvine who continued the work of his uncle in the agricultural field, including introducing the cultivation of turnips.'
He died without children and the title passed to a relative, Captain Thomas Ramsay in the East India Company, and the estates went to his nephew Alexander Burnet, second son of Sir Thomas Burnet of Leys, Bt. (better known as Crathes these days.), who was made a baronet three months later. He took on the name of Ramsay, but he died four years later having started the new house at Fasque, which was to be completed by his son Sir Alexander when he inherited the estate in 1810. Various dates are given for the house from 1809, 1810. It is reported in the Board of Agriculture Report for Kincardineshire by George Robertson, published in 1813, where he states that ' the present house of Fasque being both incommodious and verging to decay, a new house is just erecting, which when completed, will be the most capacious and the most superb mansion in the county.'
The New Statistical Account 1845 notes that that Fasque was built in 1809 by the late Sir Alexander Ramsay of Balmain, Bt.:
'Having been built on elevated ground, it commands an extensive, diversified, and pleasing view of the surrounding country. A lake of about acres of extent, and a fine approach to the house, completed a few years ago by the present proprietor, give additional effect to the scenery of this place.'
Patrick Neill in his Scottish Gardens and Orchards, 1813 notes that there was a conservatory on the upper floor of the east wing. An early print shows that the upper floor of the east wing had five windows very close together, and two blocked up windows can be seen in that wing today.
Neill also describes the walled garden 'as the finest in the Mearns', apparently built in 1792. It had five hot-houses for pineapples, grapes, peaches etc. And a greenhouse extending in all to 255 feet in length of glass. The hot-walls are 240ft in extent. Robertson in his Agricultural Survey of Kincardineshire says that the hot house 'is well stocked with a choice collection of Exotics; and in particular with the delicious Anana, or pine apple; the crop of which last season, was abundant almost to profusion.' Robertson also notes that the estate is 'highly ornamented with plantations, and has been the scene of much agricultural improvement.'
However all this expenditure was to prove the downfall of the Ramsays and they sold Fasque in 1829 to John Gladstone.