MnS can be grown lattice matched to GaAs and ZnSe in the metastable zinc blende structure. Recently, layers of MnS over 100nm thick have been produced which are thick enough for structural characterisation. In this paper we report measurements obtained from X-ray diffraction, Raman and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction has been used to obtain a value of Poisson's ratio of 0.475. This is unusually high and has implications for the stability of the material. Raman spectroscopy has been used to determine a value for the LO phonon frequency of 380 cm-1 which is in line with the value estimated from its reduced mass. XPS has been used to determine a value for the Valence Band offset. Unlike previous measurements on this compound we have found that the MnS growth must start with Mn, and not S. This presumably reflects the differences between our growth method and that used previously to grow zinc blende MnS. © 2004 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.