HMS Forest Moor aerial
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
NameHMS Forest Moor
CommissionedOctober 1960[1]
DecommissionedNovember 2003
General characteristics
Class and typeStone frigate
Notes40 acres (16 ha)

HMS Forest Moor was a Royal Navy land base located in Nidderdale in the borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.[2]


The establishment was first used as one of the Second World War intelligence units, or Y-stations.[2]

In 1960 it became the Royal Navy's major high frequency (HF) receiver station,[2] its primary function was to route HF signals from locations abroad to military bases and command centres in the UK.[3] The base was manned by a small group of Royal Naval radio operators and electricians (approximately six to a shift).

This centre provided HF comms receiver links to bases in the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Canada and a RATT ship/shore receiver link to warships at sea. Transmitters were located at HMS Inskip in Lancashire.[citation needed]

It also had a small ships company (including an RPO, a PO Caterer and chefs) for the day-to-day running of the establishment, including three civilian drivers.[citation needed]

HMS Forest Moor was also the setting of a short-lived YTV comedy Thundercloud starring James Cosmo on a stone frigate which the Royal Navy confuse with an actual ship.[4][5]

In 2003 it was transferred to VT Communications (now Babcock International) under a PPP contract to provide HF communications to the Ministry of Defence via the Defence Communication Services Agency. It is now operated by civilian personnel, from a 190-acre (78 ha)[6] site on Meagill Lane adjacent to the old Forest Moor site.[7]

In 2010, the site was disposed of by Defence Estates to North Yorkshire County Council for £4.7 million.[8] The site has been converted to a school for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Stories from our archive". Wharfedale Observer. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "HMS Forest Moor is Decommissioned". Navy News. 17 November 2003. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  3. ^ "North Yorkshire County Council DE Forest Moor Cultural Heritage Assessment DRAFT" (PDF). Archaeology Data Service. Jacobs. October 2008. p. 13. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Thundercloud". Nostalgia Central. 30 August 2009.
  5. ^ "Thundercloud". British Comedy Guide.
  6. ^ "Estate Baseline 2009" (PDF). gov. Ministry of Defence. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  7. ^ "North Yorkshire County Council DE Forest Moor Cultural Heritage Assessment DRAFT" (PDF). Archaeology Data Service. Jacobs. October 2008. p. 14. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  8. ^ Hayes, Julie (22 July 2010). "MoD site sold to become special needs school". York Press. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Special school in pipeline at HMS Forest Moor site". Harrogate Advertiser. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Foremost School in Harrogate renamed Forest Moor School". BBC News. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2016.

54°0′42″N 1°43′16″W / 54.01167°N 1.72111°W / 54.01167; -1.72111