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The term relates to the feudal system of land holding which existed in Scotland until 2004. Under this system, land was granted permanently to so-called 'Vassals' by 'Superiors'. A Superior could in turn be the Vassal of another Superior, and so on, the ultimate Superior being the Crown, which was the only outright owner of land. Used as a noun, feu means a holding of land under this system; as a verb, it means to grant such a holding to a feuar. Feus were granted in return for payment to the Superior of a regular fee, known as feu-duty. When feuing land, the Superior could impose permanently binding conditions on the feuar with regard to the kind of buildings to be erected.