This innovative study examines and analyses the wealth of evidence provided by the monumental effigies of Yorkshire, from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, including some of very high sculptural merit. More than 200 examples survive from the historic county in varying states of preservation. Together, they present a picture of the people able to afford them, at a time when the county was frequently at the forefront of national politics and administration, during the Scottish wars. Many monuments display remarkable realism, depicting people as they themselves wished to be remembered, and are accompanied by a great volume of contemporary sculptural and architectural detail. Stylistic analysis of the effigies themselves has been employed, better to understand how they relate to one another and give a firmer basis for their dating and production patterns. They are considered in relation to the history and material culture of the area at the time they were produced. A more soundly based appreciation of the sculptor's intentions and the aspirations of patrons is sought through close attention to the full extent of the visible evidence afforded by the monuments and their surroundings. The corpus is of sufficient size to permit meaningful analysis to shed light on aspects such as personal aspiration, social networks, patterns of supply and production, piety and wealth. It demonstrates the value of funerary monuments to the wider understanding of medieval society. The text will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue, making available a substantial body of research for the first time. The study considers the relationship between the monuments and related sculpture, architecture, painting, glass etc, together with contemporary documentary evidence, where it is available. This material and the underlying methodology are now available to illuminate monuments of the medieval period across the whole country. Its methods and messages extend understanding of all monuments, broadening its potential audience from the purely local to everyone concerned with medieval sculpture and church archaeology.