Greeks in Great Britain

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Pytheas (Πυθέας) is the first known Greek to come to Britain. Later, many Greeks arrived with the Roman legions as soldiers and traders. Successive arrivals came to the island as sailors, merchants, missionaries, later as mercenaries (especially after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453) and subsequently as students during Ottoman rule. The first organised Greek Orthodox Community was established in London in the 1670s. In the 19th century, Greeks settled mostly in the port cities of London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff. More than two hundred thousand (200,000) Greeks from Cyprus and mainland Greece are estimated to reside in Great Britain.

Population numbers

There are no official statistics on the number of Greeks and Greek Cypriots in Great Britain. It is generally recognised that the majority live in the Greater London region. According to a Corporation of London sponsored report (see "Reference"), there are between 28,600-31,000 Greek speakers in Greater London. The study also reports that out of a total 896,743 London schoolchildren, 0.71% come from a Greek-speaking home. There is currently no census of persons of Greek origin who use English as the home language.

List of notable Greeks in Great Britain

Miscellaneous topics


  • Philip Baker & John Eversley, Multilingual Capital, commissioned by Corporation of London, published by Battlebridge 2000.

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