A TRANQUIL Japanese garden - created during the height of their fashion over a century ago - has received Grade II-listed status.

The gardens at the 18th century Grantley Hall near Ripon have been granted protected status after being added to Historic England's National Heritage List.

The gardens were created from an area of flood plain which was converted into oriental gardens in 1910 with the addition of woodland, water features and rock from nearby Brimham Rocks.

The gardens were commissioned by Lady Jane Furness, the wife of shipping industrialist Sir Christopher Furness who bought Grantley Hall in 1900, before the house passed to their son, Marmaduke, whose second wife, Thelma Morgan Converse had an affair with Edward VIII and introduced him to Wallis Simpson.

Since then Grantley Hall has been a convalescent home, cared for 6,500 wounded solders during the Second World War, when Dame Vera Lynn perform in the drawing room, and been used as council offices.

In 2015, a local Yorkshire family purchased the property and are now staging a complete restoration of the house, which is set to become a £25m luxury, country house hotel and spa.

The hall and its 30 acres of parkland and gardens are closed during the renovation and a spa and wellness facility and wedding venue are being added to the 47-bedroom hotel, which also has four restaurants and three bars.

The hotel will reopen in Spring 2019 and is looking to take on and train new chefs, waiters, therapists and receptionists, as it creates 200 local jobs.

General manager of the hotel, Andrew McPherson, said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be included by Historic England in their prestigious National Heritage List.

“The Japanese Gardens are very much part of our restoration project under the watchful care of Alistair Baldwin at Colour Your Garden. We look forward to sharing them with the public when we open our doors in spring 2019.”

Some unusual historic sites to receive protected status from Historic England this year include Skegness Esplanade and Tower Gardens in Lincolnshire, where Billy Butlin opened his first Butlin’s holiday camp in 1936 and Leaf Hall Working Men’s Institute in Eastbourne, East Sussex, which opened in 1864 and includes a coffee room, library and lecture room. The acoustic mirrors carved into the cliff face at Fan Bay in Dover also received listed status. They were used to detect distant aircraft engines before radar was developed

Duncan Wilson, Historic England's chief executive, said: "Ninety-nine per cent of people in England live within a mile of a listed building or place.

"While many places on the list are well known and even world famous, we also want people to understand and enjoy the extraordinary range of history on their own doorsteps.

"These sites are irreplaceable and showcase the wonderfully distinct and diverse character of England and its people across thousands of years."