The statue of Blackamoor has been removed by the National Trust from outside Dunham Hall.

Laraine Penson, their Consultancy Manager, Marketing and Communications said: “It has caused upset and distress because of the way it depicts a black person and because of its prominence in front of the house.

“We don’t want to censor or deny the way colonial history is woven into the fabric of our buildings.”

After its safe removal they would address it in a way that fully acknowledged the appalling history of slavery and the slave trade.

Early guide books explain that the figure was just a large ornament made in Venice during the eighteenth century

Records show that neither the Booths nor the Greys had any involvement in slavery.

An authority on Dunham Hall who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Many visitors will regret that the Blackamoor is no longer on show caused by the understandable sensitivity of some people who think it is a hateful reminder of slavery.”

Suzanne Betts, a former room steward, said: “About time, too. I never felt comfortable with it,

“Whenever I passed it, it felt like a relic of a different era and totally inappropriate now. I’m surprised it stayed there so long.

“It created a moment of discomfort among the visitors.

“I was always disappointed that Lord Stamford left the statue at the front of the hall.”

The Earl had entertained exiled Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie so leaving the statue was out of character.

Alderman Denise Laver of Altrincham Court Leet said: “People were concerned about the statue’s removal because it was so sudden implying that past Lords of the manor were connected to slavery which was not true.

“There used to be a plaque stating ‘This sundial is in the style of one commissioned by King William III. It represents Africa, one of four continents known at the time.’

“The figure depicts a Moor, not a slave. People seemed to think that the kneeling figure was showing subservience, but disregarded the fact that it was a sundial!

“This is why we need history to live on, and the political correctness brigade should leave it alone.

“The Trust should be educating more on the subject”

A hall visitor Alison Corser couldn’t understand why we were trying to hide history: “It happened. It wasn’t right but we must learn from it and move on to be better people. Issues with slavery today need addressing urgently rather than wasting energy on trying to appease history.”