The businessman doesn’t actually reside in his Rockhouse Retreat full-time; he built it as a weekend getaway. It took him over $230,000, even though he did most of the work himself. The cave alone cost nearly $90,000, and the rest went to renovations, he told Barcroft TV.
The sandstone cliffs are approximately 250-million years old, and the cave itself is one of the oldest inhabited rock houses in Europe. People have lived there for around 700 years, according to archeologists, though not for the past several decades. Though there were already several rooms roughed out, the elapsed time made the house fall into disrepair. Mastropietro, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago, still had to put in over 1,000 hours of work (and excavate 70 tons of stone) to make it habitable. He added heating under the floors, an electric stove, wood fireplace, LED lights, and luxury shower. The outdoor terrace has a barbecue.
“Whilst you’re maybe a mile or so from the nearest supermarket and the nearest pub, you’re 1,000 miles from care,” Mastropietro told Grand Designs. While he says he wanted to celebrate that it’s a cave dwelling, he still wanted to bring in some modern luxuries. But the wiring, drainage, and ventilation are hidden behind the rock and under the floor, in keeping with the primitive spirit.
The rock house, which is located in Worcestershire, U.K., isn’t Mastropietro’s full-time residence, and he rents it out for about $280 a night. He probably doesn’t take clams and scallops, like The Flintstones, though.