The structure of the designed landscape was laid out as early as the mid-16th century for William Maitland, improved in the 17th century for the 1st Earl and the 1st Duke of Lauderdale, and informalised in the late 18th century. A new sunken garden was designed to the east of the house by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1912.
The lands of Lennoxlove, or Lethington as it was originally known, were held by the Giffords of Yester until 1345 when they passed to the Maitlands who built the tower house sometime before 1400. In 1561 William Maitland became Secretary of State for Mary, Queen of Scots, and it is known that the lime avenue leading to the south- east from the house is known as the Politicians Walk after him.
Improvements were made to the house in the 1620s by John Maitland, 1st Earl of Lauderdale, which included the addition of the East Wing. He died in 1645 and was succeeded by his son, later 1st and only Duke of Lauderdale, who continued the improvements while completing building work at several other properties, including Ham House with its elaborate gardens. Tradition holds that the 1st Duke enclosed the park in 1674 following a remark from the then Duke of York, later James II, that there were none to be found in Scotland, during his visit that year.
Two plans survive from the late 17th century, drawn by John Slezer and John Wyck, which show the layout of the park and the formal gardens. These appear to be survey plans rather than proposals from their titles and General Roy's map of 1750 shows the same layout, with the addition of the Belvedere to the north of the house. The Slezer/Wyck drawings show a triple avenue leading to the west which has since been lost but the avenues to the North, East and South Parks can still be traced. The design for the formal gardens may not have been implemented exactly as shown but Roy's map does show an area of formal gardens to the south of the house and also marks the Politicians Walk.
After the Duke's death in 1682, the estate changed hands several times before it was settled on Lord Blantyre in 1703 on the instructions of his cousin, the Duchess of Lennox, and tradition holds that she asked for it to be renamed Lennoxlove in memory of her husband. The Blantyres lived at Lennoxlove for nearly 200 years. The grounds were informalised in the late 18th century but the designer is not known. Thomas White submitted a plan in 1784 but this was not carried out. The new design was superimposed on the existing formal pattern, retaining the access routes. Some additions were made to the house in 1825 by William Burn for the 11th Earl of Blantyre and many improvements were made by his son, the 12th Earl. On his death in 1900, the estate passed to his great-nephew, William Arthur Baird of Erskine. He engaged Sir Robert Lorimer to work at Lennoxlove in 1906 and later sold Erskine.
In 1947 the estate was sold to the 14th Duke of Hamilton & Brandon, and many of the furnishings, especially pictures, from the former Hamilton Palace were brought to Lennoxlove.