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Skelton Transmitting Station

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Skelton is located in the former Eden District
Location in Eden, Cumbria
Skelton is located in Cumbria
Location in Cumbria, England
LocationSkelton, Cumbria
Mast height365 metres (1,198 ft)
Coordinates54°43′56″N 2°53′01″W / 54.73222°N 2.88361°W / 54.73222; -2.88361
Built2001 (current)

The Skelton Transmitting Station is a radio transmitter site at grid reference NY433376 near Skelton, Cumbria, England, about 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Penrith, run by Babcock International and owned by the Ministry of Defence. Since the Belmont Mast in Lincolnshire was shortened in 2010, the mast at Skelton has been the tallest structure in the United Kingdom.[1]





The site was built by J. L. Eve Construction during the Second World War, for long-distance short-wave transmissions, across Europe.



In 1946, the BBC was heralding the site as being "the World's largest and most powerful (shortwave) radio station".[2]

The main purpose of it is shortwave broadcasting. The site is capable of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) on at least 3955 kHz and 3975 kHz (75m broadcast band) beamed at 121° towards Germany and Central Europe.[3][4] On AM the frequencies of 5995 kHz and 6195 kHz (49m broadcast band) and 9410 kHz (31m broadcast band) and 12095 kHz (25m broadcast band) are known.[5]

A Royal Navy very low frequency (VLF) transmitter is also located there. It is used to transmit encrypted orders to submarines, including the Trident SLBM fleet.[6] It uses as its aerial a 365-metre (1,198 foot) high guyed steel lattice mast, which is insulated against ground and is the tallest structure in the UK. The transmitter went into service in 2001 and is the successor to the GBR transmitter at Rugby Radio Station.

See also



  1. ^ Rodgers, Paul (21 June 2009). "Europe's tallest structure to be cut down to size". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  2. ^ Lowery, G.P.; Garlick, Chris (2007) [1990]. Ellen, Martin (ed.). "Skelton Transmitting Station 1942 to 1998 - Over half a century of short wave broadcasting". BBCeng.info. Pictures provided by Barnes, Russell W. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  3. ^ "DRM schedule". Baseportal. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  4. ^ "DRM". Mediumwave Info. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  5. ^ "Bandscan". Listener's Guide. Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  6. ^ Abaimov, Stanislav; Ingram, Paul (June 2017). "Hacking UK Trident: A Growing Threat" (PDF). Basic. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 September 2023.