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Background & History

Armenian House was established in 1959 when the members of the Armenian community in London hardly exceeded a few hundred. 

 

The founders, predicting the increase and forthcoming strengthening of the community, with the financial help of Mr. Edward Benlian, formulated the Armenian Community Trust and purchased the four-storey building in Kensington which remains to this day the location of Hye Doon.

 

Soon after, their vision came to fruition, when thousands emigrated from Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus and other Middle Eastern countries due to political unrest. During those years, Armenian House was a place where Armenians could stay in touch with old acquaintances and make new friends, a home from home, always with strong links to the Armenian Church - on Sundays there was only just room to sit on the stairs to eat your lachmahjan! Cultural and social events, concerts and readings were in abundance fulfilling the hunger of the growing community, with the Armenian Library also playing a very important part.

 

In this way Hye Doon became the ‘Doon’ for all London Armenians with its resources satisfying the urges and necessities of a growing and vibrant community.

Through the years the various committees which make up the Trust have thrived and although London’s Armenian Community is now much larger and more settled, Armenian House continues to work quietly but valuably in the background. With the same premises still always available for Armenian organisations hosting events, and with affiliations to certain other Trusts, the Armenian Community Council, and the Ladies Committee, Armenian House continues to be an important part of the fabric of UK Armenian community in the heart of London.

Also of great pride is that between 1992 and 2023, following Armenia’s Independence in 1991, the premises officially housed the Embassy of Armenia to the United Kingdom. 

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Part of an Armenian Quarter in Kensington

Armenian House is round the corner from the two magnificent Armenian churches, the St. Yeghiche Armenian Church, and the St. Sarkis Armenian Church. 

 

Also close are the Gulbenkian Hall, and the Vicarage.

 

These four buildings along with ‘Armenian House’ can be described as an ‘Armenian Quarter’ in the heart of Kensington.

 

Armenian House is ideal for post-church events of all types, whether an informal gathering on any given Sunday, a Christening reception or gathering, or a ‘Hokehankist’.

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