Cottesbrooke, begun in 1702 and completed in 1713, is one of the most successful of the surviving country houses built on a similar model to the influential Buckingham House in St. James’s Park, London; that is with a central block and lower flanking pavilions connected by quadrant links.  Its architect is now known almost certainly to have been Francis Smith of Warwick.  The house was built on a new site by Sir John Langham, 4th Baronet.  Circa 1780, the house was altered by Robert Mitchell.

Cottesbrooke was then the subject of substantial Neo-Georgian architectural work in the 20th Century; firstly by the Arts & Crafts architect Robert Weir Schultz in 1911/14 and then by the firm of Wellesley and Wills in 1937/39 for the Macdonald-Buchanan family.

In 1990 Francis Johnson, the Yorkshire-based classicist was employed to further alter the north-east wing.