Summer is usually not the best time to visit many of our North York Moors monuments, the heavy growth of heathers and bracken render many of our monuments all but invisible. This is not the case for the Blue Man I' the Moss, summer is definitely the time to visit this lovely fella. The stone is situated in the middle of White Moor which is essentially one huge peat bog that stretches from Egton High Moor and Murk Mire Moor in the north to the Cropton forest in the south. A walk to the Blue Man usually means one thing - getting wet. The bogs up here are more or less continuous and will suck the boots from your feet.
Walking across the moor when it is dry is quite a strange experience. The peat is extremely spongey, and moves as you step on it, you know that the water table is lurking a few inches beneath the peat and it feels as if the peaty crust could give way at any time plunging you into the boggy mire beneath.
The Blue Man is a lovely stone and quite easy to find as he sits beside a well made path which is used for the Lyke Wake Walk.
There are two ways to get to the stone, either from the Wheeldale road or the Egton Bridge road. I would recommend the Egton road as it's lined with Foxgloves at this time of year. The stone is about a mile along the path to the east.
To the north east of the stone is the large barrow Wheeldale Howe.
All in all the Blue Man is well worth a visit but if you go after a period of wet weather or late in year be prepared for a soaking.
The name is often said to be from Welsh 'plu maen', meaning parish stone. Problem with that is Welsh 'plu' means feathers! Parish is 'plwyf'
Cornish 'plyw' (pronounced, I think, 'ploo') means parish, and that fits the bill better. But Cornish for stone is 'men'
We're left with either Welsh plwyf maen, or Cornish plyw men. But neither are a million miles away, and 'parish stone' looks plausible.
The problem now is establishing how early this "parish" was. First mention of parishes in English was in 'Life of Cuthbert' by anon of Lindisfarne, circa 700. Its "parrochia of Osingadun" was in N. Yorks, and held by Abbess Aelfflaed, but is now lost.