As originally repaired, the house was converted into three flats – one for Miss Burgess and two for others to rent. A condition of receiving grant aid was that the main rooms – the old kitchen, hall and great chamber above – would have to be occasionally open to the public and so it was resolved to leave them as public spaces held in common by all three flats, rather as in the Tudor period they provided communal space for a household whose members would withdraw to separate apartments or lodgings at other times.
South of the old kitchen had been a dairy, already converted by the Burgesses into a sitting room. Beyond that was the cider house, still with its press, and this was converted to provide a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. To create a new kitchen for the flat on the first floor of the east wing, the loft over the cider house was built up to full height and given a new roof with a hipped gable and three new windows looking south.
The third flat was formed to the west of the hall. A kitchen was fitted into the closet next to the parlour instead of into a derelict addition still further west, which was constructed of cob and collapsed after heavy rains. The great chamber closet was included in this flat as its third bedroom, together with the bathroom that already existed in the porch.
Other major work included returning the roofs to their original form and appearance as most of the timber needed renewal anyway. A new stone chimney stack was built for the fireplace in Miss Burgess’s sitting room. Others were given stone rather than brick tops, and the chimneys of the main range were given new granite caps based on those shown in a drawing dated 1716. The stone all came from field walls being demolished by the Highways Department and the new slates came from the Delabole quarry in North Cornwall.
Structural repairs were carried out including underpinning of the walls. Woodworm, dry rot and death watch beetle all had to be tackled. Damp proof membranes were installed along with underfloor heating to provide a gentle background heat without the danger of drying out the timbers. Trusses, windbraces, lintels, joist and beams all had to be checked and their ends repaired or strengthened as necessary.
All this work took several years, and it was only in 1974 that Wortham emerged from its cocoon of scaffolding. The cost had also increased dramatically to two or three times what had originally been expected.
For 15 years Wortham remained divided into its three flats. But the main rooms, seldom visited by the public, were becoming rather sad and empty places, and there were also practical problems such as noise from adjoining flats. So in 1990 it was resolved to reunite the house formally. This was easy to do, with the old farmhouse kitchen taking on once again its former role. Wortham can now be used very much as it always has been and the self-contained life of a small but rich manor house re-created and understood.