Barholm Tower is located on the Solway coast, west of Kirkcudbright. The land around Barholm was acquired by the McCullochs, supporters of the Reformation around 1510, who fortified the property during the second half of the sixteenth century. Although now derelict, the castle was once a two storey castle with the laird's suites supported by domestic quarters in the roof.
James Faed was born at Barley Mill, Kirkcudbright in 1821, and followed his brothers to Edinburgh, soon establishing himself as a portrait painter and a mezzotinter of the highest calibre. Faed illustrated many historical publications including Malcolm McLachlan Harper's 'Rambles in Galloway', the frontispiece of which was Barholm Castle, and is traditionally believed to be the Ellangowan of 'Guy Mannering', a novel published in 1815 by Sir Walter Scott.