We have measured the yield strength of gold nanowire forests with mean diameter 30, 60 and 70 nm fabricated by electro-deposition into porous alumina templates. All nanowire sizes showed yield strengths much greater than expected from polycrystalline gold specimens with the 30 nm specimens having a yield stress in excess of 1.4 GPa. We found no significant work hardening at plastic strains up to 30%. The strength of the nanowires as a function of wire diameter follows the same trend as has been reported for the compression strength of larger gold pillars reported in the literature. TEM observations of deformed wires are consistent with mechanisms of dislocation induced deformation.