In Britian it is not common for people to decide to live in dark, damp and abandoned caves.
Here is a story of a former businessman who thought out of the box and planned to live underground by building his dream home in a cave - in a bid to cure his Multiple Sclerosis.
Angelo Mastropietro, 37, spent eight months single-handedly transforming the 800-year-old hobbit hole in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire into a 21st century man cave, complete with running water, underfloor heating and even wi-fi.
The former recruitment boss was inspired to buy the cave after being diagnosed with MS at the age of 29, a catalyst which forced him to rethink his high-flying career and the stress and unhealthy lifestyle that came along with it.
Mr Mastropietro, spotted the cave in 1999 when he and some friends found shelter during a rainy bike ride.
He bought the cave for £62,000 after seeing it advertised in the local property supplement. With a budget of £100,000 he began his excavations.
He excavated 70 tonnes of stone by hand before turning his dream into a reality. He then set about carving, cutting and drilling into the sandstone hillside.
Although he wanted a calm and peaceful home he did not shun all the trappings of modern life and has electricity and running water.
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He said: “MS was triggered by health and lifestyle and that was the catalyst I needed to remind me that I needed to be mindful of my health and be respectful of my lifestyle. I wanted to be in a place where I had a happier and healthier life.”
The dark and dingy space needed to be completely renovated, with thousands of man hours being put into scraping through the stone.
Mr Mastropieto did not need planning permission and had no guidance of how to convert the space, with the only architect being his creative imagination.
The constant threat of his illness - which once left him paralysed – did not deter him from the extensive manual labour.
The completed home is nestled in a JRR Tolkien Middle Earth setting. It has a large terrace, intimate rooms and white walls to brighten it. Large installed glass doors and oak-framed windows let in lots of light.
It was last lived in more than seven decades ago, and is cut into 50ft high sandstone cliffs.
The cave, which has been in its current four-bedroom form for 300 years, was abandoned in the late 1940s and has been falling into disrepair ever since.
It is part of a row of caves considered to be the oldest inhabited rock houses in the whole of Europe - archaeological architects believe it was around in its earliest form nearly 800 years ago.
Mr Mastropieto had created a haven of peace and tranquility. Here is an ideal sanctuary to retreat to from the everyday stress and pressure of today.
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