It is a country house built for Patrick Home of Billie in an unsuccessful attempt to woo a Prussian heiress.
Attributed to James Adam (possibly in concert with John Adam), it was built between 1758 and 1766, under the supervision of James Nisbet, with extensive interiors (c1773) by Robert Adam, as well as furniture by Thomas Chippendale.
The East Wing was added in 1812-13 by architect Robert Reid to house the library and picture gallery.
Formerly the seat of the Home of Paxton family, who became Foreman-Home, Milne-Home, and finally Home-Robertson as the direct male lines failed and the inheritance progressed through a female.
In 1988, the last laird, John David Home Robertson, a socialist member of Parliament, placed the house and grounds into the Paxton House Historic Building Preservation Trust.
It is now open to the public and is a Partner Gallery of the National Galleries of Scotland.