In the 1680s Bunratty was the principal seat of the Earl of Thomond. In the early 18th century the castle and demesne were leased to Thomas Studdert by the Earl of Thomond and the castle became a Studdert residence. In 1786 Wilson refer to a seat of Mr. Studdert at Bunratty. For some time in the mid 19th century it served as an Royal Irish Constabulary barracks. In 1894 it was the seat of Capt. Richard Studdert.