The Monreith estate was acquired by a younger branch of the Maxwells of Caerlaverock in the 15th century. The original family home was Myrton Castle, now in ruins, which stands on high ground above the east bank of the Myrton Loch.
The baronetcy was conferred on William Maxwell in 1681. His grandson who succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet in 1730 married Magdalene, daughter of William Blair of Blair. Tapestry work by her of flowers which grew in the walled garden of Myrton in her lifetime remains in the house today, and provides the only available record of the nature of the garden at that time. Reference to General Roy's map of c.1750 indicates the designed landscape of this time to include two square enclosures around the Castle and a woodland belt along the east shore of Myrton Loch.
Their son, Sir William Maxwell, 4th Baronet, inherited the estate on his father's death in 1771. He was responsible for the construction of the new house in its present position and for the layout of the designed landscape which remains today. The survey plan commissioned by him indicates the extent of the designed landscape by this time. He continued to develop the policies up until his death in 1812.
The 7th Baronet, Sir Herbert Maxwell, succeeded to his father's estates in 1877. He held a number of offices and was well known as an academic, politician, painter and writer. He wrote of several gardens, in addition to his own, in his book 'Scottish Gardens' published in 1911. He was a knowledgeable plantsman and introduced many rare species into the woodland garden which he established at Monreith. He died, aged 95, in 1937, when he was succeeded by his grandson, Sir Aymer, the 8th Baronet, to a reduced estate of c.9,000 acres.
With the advent of war in 1939, the estate, like many, entered a period of decline. After the war, Sir Aymer continued to live in London and the estate was rented for a period of several years. It was inherited in the 1980s by the present owner, Michael Maxwell. On his succession, urgent restoration work was required to save the house. This has been put into operation and, in the meantime, part of the house has been converted for use as flats for holiday letting. The garden and estate in general had run down since World War II and much of the plant collection amassed by Sir Herbert has been lost.