The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of age and breed on the reproductive performance and lamb output of crossbred hill ewes relative to purebred Scottish Blackface (BF). BF ewes were compared alongside Swaledale (SW) × BF, North Country Cheviot (CH) × BF, Lleyn (LL) × BF and Texel (T) × BF ewes on six commercial hill farms across Northern Ireland, on which all the ewes were born and reared. Ewes were mated to a range of sire breeds, balanced across breeds, for up to five successive breeding seasons. Mature live weight of adult BF, SW × BF, CH × BF, LL × BF and T × BF ewes was 52.8, 54.9, 60.3, 55.6 and 58.6 kg (P < 0.001), respectively. Compared with the pure BF, the number of lambs born per ewe lambed was higher with LL × BF and SW × BF (P < 0.05), whereas the number of lambs weaned per ewe lambed was greater for LL × BF and T × BF (P < 0.01). Total litter weight at birth of all the crossbred ewes was heavier (P < 0.01) than the pure BF, except in primiparous 2-year-old ewes. Lambs born to CH × BF and T × BF dams were 0.24 to 0.35 kg heavier at birth (P < 0.01) than the other ewe breeds, whereas lambs born to CH × BF, LL × BF and T × BF dams were, on average, 1.7, 1.3 and 1.5 kg, respectively, heavier (P < 0.01) at weaning than those from BF dams due to their higher (P < 0.05) average daily gain. Compared with the pure BF, total weaned lamb output per ewe lambed was 3.7, 4.8, 6.7 and 5.4 kg heavier (P < 0.05) for SW × BF, CH × BF, LL × BF and T × BF, respectively. However, as a result of the heavier live weight of the crossbred ewes, production efficiency (lamb output per kilogram live weight (W) and lamb output per kilogram metabolic live weight (W0.75)) was higher (P < 0.001) for LL × BF ewes only. For all ewe breeds, litter size at birth per ewe lambed, total lamb birth weight per ewe lambed and litter size at weaning increased (P < 0.001) with age up to 5 years, but decreased in 6-year-old ewes. Average lamb weaning weight and total weaned lamb output per ewe lambed increased (P < 0.001) with age up to 4 years . Production efficiency of the 6-year-old ewes was lower (P < 0.01) than the younger ewes. This study shows that adopting a flock replacement policy based on crossing BF ewes with LL, SW, T and CH sires can lead to significant improvements in the productivity of hill flocks.