In 1551, for financial reasons, Aberdeen applied to Mary Queen of Scots and was granted the right to feu these lands.
The feudal system and the feu disposition (the actual document which transfers ownership of the land from a superior to a purchaser) has been a useful tool for property developers in both the public and private sectors.
Reformation enabled tenants to buy for a steep price feu charters which apart from a small ongoing feu duty bestowed virtual ownership.
The trustees' decision in 1760 to feu land to the town council, however, opened old wounds and was no formality.
A feu , in short, was a perpetual lease - a feu-farm, as it was often called - by which the tenant became bound to pay a substantial consideration.
We know about Pitmunie because of the archaeological work of Henry Hamilton in the 1930s, and records of leases and feus .