The Finnish Embassy in London is located in Belgravia, near Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. The house was built between 1830 and 1840 Mr Thomas Cubitt, the Master Builder. It was the grandest house in Chesham Place at the time and is still rather unique as it is the only detached house in the Place and resembles the houses in nearby Belgrave Square.
The embassy building was built according to the general design of all the houses in the neighbourhood. For example the big Purbeck Stone staircase leading from the ground floor to the first and second Floors is typical for the era. All the staircases back then were made from Purbeck or York stone.
The first recorded occupant was Major General James Ahmuty in 1842. During the following decades, the house was owned by William Russell, a member of the family of Lord John Russell, Lady Herbert of Lee and the Earl of Scarborough, who let the house to Irwin Boyle Laughlin, a Counsellor at the American Embassy in 1916.
In 1920, Belgrave House as it was then known, was taken over by Viscount Boyne's family and during this time, a lift was installed. During the Second World War, the house was occupied by the British Red Cross Society and St John's War Organisation and used as a library for servicemen. Between 1947 and 1948, the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship took over the lease of the house.
The Victoria League finally surrendered their lease in 1975 and Belgrave House became the Embassy of Finland. The Duke of Westminster, one of the wealthiest landowners in England, now owns the building.
Like many of the old buildings, the Embassy has many stories behind it and is also purpoted to be haunted. Apparently the ghost living in the Embassy is a little girl who fell out from a window on the third floor, where the children's nursery used to be. She has been seen on the stairs in her nightdress.