Once a small village, it was developed in the 1930s and now lies between the suburbs of Mannamead and Efford. There are two parts, Higher and Lower Compton named after two farms and now distinguished by their respective public houses.
Although essentially infill development between older larger areas, Compton is distinctive in character.
The area covered by Compton Gifford today was part of the ancient division of Devon called Roborough Hundred. Compton was formed as an urban district in 1894 (when urban districts were initiated), but was absorbed into Plymouth itself in 1896.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Compton Gifford from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Compton. A long section on Compton in the 19th century.