William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire around 1490. He spent much of his early life in North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Slimbridge, before going on to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, from which he graduated with a BA in 1512. After this he spent some time in Cambridge before employment as tutor to the children of Master Walsh, a knight of Sodbury Manor, Gloucestershire.
It was while at Sodbury that he seriously began to consider translating the New Testament into English. At this time, the doctrines preached by Martin Luther on the continent were being discussed in England, and Tyndale accepted them and preached them in Sodbury and the villages around.
After some time he went to London and there, continued studying and preaching. But persecution was strong and he made his way to Wittenburg, the home of Luther, and joined an enthusiastic band of students who had gathered there. Here he prepared his translation of the New Testament which he had printed in Antwerp, and then had copies smuggled into this country.
Shortly after this he was put in prison by the Emperor of Germany on a charge of heresy. At his trial he pleaded that the doctrines he taught were contained in the Bible and that the Bible ought to be in a language which everyone could read. His defence was of no avail and subsequently in the courtyard of Vilvorde Castle near Brussels he was chained to a stake and burnt. The date was October 6th 1536.
More information is available on the North Nibley website.
The monument was erected on the summit of Nibley Knoll by public subscription between 1863 and 1866. The foundation stone was laid by the Hon. Col. Berkeley. The inauguration ceremony was performed by Earl Ducie, and took place on 6 November 1866.
The cost of the builing was £1,550. The well known church restorer, S.S.Teulon was the architect, and the builder was Mr. Whitfield. The stone came from Hampton Quarry near Stroud. The monument stands at 200 metres (600 feet) above sea level, and is 34 metres (111 feet) in height.
The monument is maintained by a charitable trust, registered in December 1961.