The Rt. Hon. The Countess Bathurst
Born in Marlborough, Wiltshire in 1965 to Christopher and Marguerite Chapman, Lady Bathurst spent her childhood with her elder brother Mark in Lyme Regis, Dorset, after her parents moved to be closer to the family ‘HQ’ in East Devon, when she was still a toddler.
Educated privately, Sara grew up in a patriotic home with old-fashioned values, instilling in her a natural sense of duty and a deeply charitable conscience, as well as a hefty dose of independence. It was this same independence that encouraged her to go further afield and so, after school, instead of following her peers to a more traditional job in London, she decided an overseas adventure would be more challenging, and she travelled to the United States where she settled in Chicago in 1986.
She stayed in the US for five years, exploring as much of the country as she could, thoroughly enjoying her early twenties and supporting herself by working in various roles, including a period spent with a top Chicago lawyer. Lady Bathurst looks back on her time in America, where she gained ‘more than a lifetimes worth of experiences and knowledge’, with huge affection and appreciation.
Her return to the UK in 1991 saw her joining the family business of independent bookshops in the South West as a partner, and she lived for a while back in Lyme Regis running the flagship branch until she met her husband Allen, the then Lord Apsley, in 1993. They married in 1996 when she moved to the Cotswolds – she had always said she wanted to marry a farmer!
Since then, her time has been spent running the house at Cirencester Park, supporting her husband and involving herself deeply in the Gloucestershire community in a number of roles, mostly associated with charities around the county. Since the death of her father-in-law, the 8th Earl Bathurst, Lady Bathurst has become involved as President and Patron to many more local charities and associations. Amongst her many passions, her dogs, the countryside and farming are especially dear to her.