another lively debate has popped up on the German Forum because of another observation on the Hohenzollernmodell. I'm hoping that perhaps Fred, or someone else here has seen something similar on other ships can can explain this.
Here's a Picture of the grating of the head of the Hohenzollernmodel, it can be seen that a little square piece highlighted in yellow could be removed. The opening where it belongs when closed can be seen in front of it:
In the Image above the large square can hardly be seen through which the mainstay led is covered by the small grating a various ropes, so it is completely obscured. This was way too cluttered for anyone to reach down there let alone climb down there.
Here's my Rendering of the grating of the head, the removable part is highlighted in green:
The obvious question is: what was this for. The measurements of this opening were only 30 / 50cm, thus way too small for anybody to climb down in there. I believe that the green grating was possibly removed just to reach something in there.
In this picture it very much looks like there was something in the head beneath the grating, directly underneath the removable part, perhaps a block or something to assist heaving the anchors or so.
It looks like this grating is directly above the hawsehole, so it would allow the jeer capstan on the upper deck to be used in assisting to raise an anchor. This is one of the uses for the jeer capstan attested in 17th-century sources, such as Smith and Mainwaring, but it requires a lead for the tackle, which this hatch provides. It also looks like there may be a double block already mounted in the right place, or perhaps a whole tackle, so one would only have to lead the fall up through the hatch to the capstan when needed. On Vasa, there is a suitable gap in the grating rather than a removable section.