Modern Caveman: Man Builds A $230,000 House In 700-Year-Old Cave
ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: My life before I became a cave man was really quite different. COMM: The pressures of modern life mean that most of us have probably dreamt at one time or another of fleeing to the hills. COMM: But Angelo Mastropietro has made his hermit dream a reality by spending over £160,000 making a house out of the cave. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: I am 38 years old and I’m a caveman. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: You know, I love a challenge. I mean, I guess coincidentally my surname actually means Master of the Stone. So you know, maybe it’s kind of in my blood. COMM: He did most of the work himself, even more incredible when you consider the only a few years ago, the businessman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: I had a lapse that left me paralysed essentially which was really the catalyst to make a review where I was at, where I was going and obviously my lifestyle. The rock house kinda came along, you know without a shadow of a doubt. I was as passionate about that as I was about setting up my company. COMM: The 250millionyearold sandstone cliffs near the Wyre Forest are said to have inspired Tolkien when he was writing Lord of the Rings.
It was here that Angelo spent £62,000 on this 700yearold abandoned cave which he would turn into his very own hobbit hole. With a renovation budget of £100,000, Angelo set about doing most of the physically demanding work himself. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: In the end, I had spent somewhere round about 1000 hours basically breaking rock, cutting rock, burrowing rock. You know, total somewhere around about 70 or 80 tons of rubble that I excavated out of this rock house by hand, and really proof of that is the whole of the terrace outside, is literally 100 square meters of terrace out there. None of that was there when I started. So that is all of the rubble that I have excavated.
COMM: The completed rock house’s impressive features are anything but Stone Age. It even has WiFi. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: One of the things that’s kind of impressive about the restoration is really what you don’t see. We’ve put ventilation channels in the floor. One of the things that I was quite passionate about doing was trying to retain the integrity of the rock house by not cutting the many casings into the hard wires.
This could originally have been the bedroom. These little nooks either side which I have lit up to give the illusion of kind of light channels kind of casting light down. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: Coming through into the shower room. So we have got under floor heating in here. One of the biggest kind of engineering feat. This is where I have excavated this kind of shelf and then subsequently I dug down and created this shower. COMM: All of the fresh running water, comes from Angelo’s own borehole which he sank 18 metres into the ground. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: This was originally two separate spaces. So the first task was that I’ve excavated this doorway. Start off at the top and literally cut down, repeat the process so that the whole of the area that you are looking to remove was set into stripes, and then remove the sections of rock, and just literally repeat, repeat, repeat.
11 days later, it kind of made my way through. COMM: Although the cave house, was originally built as a holiday let, Angelo still harbours the ambition of one day living full time in his unusual property. ANGELO MASTROPIETRO: When you’re actually here, when you see it in person, you get a feel for the place. Literally had people in tears. You know, I feel incredibly happy, very proud, very honoured. Yeah, it’s been a very inspiring chapter I think.
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