This rocky passage was so narrow that only a single horse could get through it at a time. It lay in the marches of Gore, across one of the ways to the Sword Bridge, and was guarded by at least one knight, a number of men-at-arms, and a wooden tower with a lookout constantly posted.
Although told that a longer way around to the Sword Bridge would be safer, Lancelot insisted on taking the shorter way, guided by two sons, one knighted, of his host of the evening before - the family were British prisoners in Gore.
When they reached the Stony Passage, its guardian knight's lance broke and the men-at-arms, aiming their axes, deliberately missed Lancelot and his horse, as if wanting him to pass. Perhaps they too were foreign prisoners, pressed unto unwilling service and eager for the man who would release them.