According to English historian Antonia Gransden, Armenian presence has been recorded in the United Kingdom since the 13th century.
During the 17th century Armenian merchants who had trade bases in Calcutta India, became one of the dominant traders in the route of Calcutta - Middle East - Italy and Manchester. As a result of their activities Armenian merchants were granted the status of Free Citizens of England in 1688 by a Royal Charter.
A small community of around 30 began to form in Manchester in the 1860s. In 1869 the community purchased a plot of land where they began the construction of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church which was completed and consecrated at Easter of 1870.
By the 1920’s a community of around 1000 was formed in London. With contributions from the community and Calouste Gulbenkian, a traditional Armenian church was built in Kensington in 1923.
In 1988 philanthropists Vatche and Tamar Manoukian purchased the St. Peter’s Anglican Church (which had closed in 1973), and after extensive renovations in 2001 consecrated the St Yeghiche Armenian Church, the largest Armenian church in London.
Today the Armenian community is concentrated predominantly in London and Manchester with smaller communities in Cardiff and Birmingham. A 2001 study suggests that the community is likely around 20,000. It consists of not only decedents of the merchants who originally settled in Manchester, but survivors of the Armenian Genocide, migrants from Iran, India, and Cyprus, and most recently migrants from Armenia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Dozens of Armenian organizations operate throughout the country, including community, political and philanthropic organizations, Sunday schools, academic institutes, student organizations, dance groups, media outlets and more.
Armenians have made a significant contribution to the sciences in the United Kingdom. Among well-known British-Armenians is Ara Darzi, an Armenian surgeon, scientist, and member of the House of Lords.
The Armenian community in the United Kingdom does not have a special status.
The Welsh Parliament passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide in 2002.