The house was built for John Menzies in 1693. In 1741, the estate passed to the Watsons of Saughton at which time it was called New Saughton. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1975 but, in 1977, the house was torched twice by vandals. In 1980 the City of Edinburgh Council was gifted the estate and declared it a Wilderness Park. The Council now maintain the grounds and operates a ranger service.