Like its neighbour Abnalls Lane, Cross in Hand Lane is (at least in parts) a holloway. As mentioned before, Cross in Hand used to be the main road to Stafford. I understand from reading information on the Two Saints Way project that it would also would have been one of the last stages of the pilgrimage route between Chester and Lichfield. According to Thomas Harwood it was also where the Sheriff’s Ride (the next one coming up soon on 10th September) used to begin and finish. So, that’s what I do know.
Now for what I don’t know…..
This ‘cave’ can be found by walking about 200m up Cross in Hand Lane from the A51. It’s on the right hand side, opposite a lovely white cottage. I first read about it in Cuthbert Brown’s Lichfield Remembered, but he doesn’t know what it is either! Is it somewhere stone has been extracted from? A natural feature? Anyone have any ideas?
Edit 25 minutes later!
It is natural. Brownhills Bob tells me via Twitter that it is a water fissure where softer rock has been washed out. So thank you to him, mystery solved 🙂