Malcolm Canmore first established a Celtic foundation on the site in 1078. The Culdees of Munimusc are recorded as inhabiting the site in 1170. An Augustinian priory was built by Gilchrist, Earl of Mar, around 1200. The estate passed from the Forbes family to the Grant family in 1712, and Sir Archibald Grant established a planned village for estate workers. The village was largely rebuilt again in 1840.
The eminent geologist and palaeontologist Dame Maria Matilda Ogilvie Gordon was born in the village in 1864. The painters Archibald and Alexander Robertson were also natives of the village. The talented salmon flyfisher Francis T. Grant was born at House of Monymusk. He authored the book "Salmon flyfishing - the dynamics approach" in 1993 based on his fishing in the nearby River Don, in River Dee, and in Norway.